Tinker department earns elite status for fire protection

  • Published
  • By April McDonald
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

When it comes to fire protection, Tinker Fire and Emergency Services is in a class all by itself.

The department recently became the first in the Air Force to achieve the International Organization for Standardization’s Class 1 distinction. In fact, there is only one other Class 1 organization in the Department of Defense and five in the state of Oklahoma.

“Being a Class 1 department is pretty prestigious,” said Chief Terry Ford during an Oct. 12 ceremony at Fire Station 4. “It puts us in elite status as far as fire protection across the nation.”

Skip Gibson, southwest regional manager of Community Hazard Mitigation at ISO, said the organization surveys structure fire suppression capabilities at more than 45,000 areas across the country. Departments are graded on water supply, communications, training, operations and prevention. Data is analyzed using the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.

“We survey what the fire protection system is from when someone dials 911 to who responds and how they’re trained,” Gibson said. “The schedule itself is based on 105.5 points, but there are 1,200 data points within the schedule.”

Tinker scored a total of 92.13 points, including a perfect 10 for emergency communications. The department also scored a 9 out of 9 for training.

“Training is such a critical factor,” Gibson said. “I have to stress, 9 points out of 9 in training. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. That’s a really high bar. Kudos to all of you folks on doing an outstanding job in training. That’s amazing.”

Ken Stoops, senior field representative from ISO, presented the department with a plaque to commemorate their Class 1 status.

“Chief Ford, this is for everybody’s hard work,” he said. “This is a team effort from management to the firefighters. It’s something to be proud of. Keep up the good work.”

Ford agreed.

“This looks at all aspects of our department, from when the tones drop until water comes out of the hydrant,” he said. “You should all be very proud.”