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ISO classifies communities from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst) based on how well they score on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which grades such features as water distribution, fire department equipment and manpower and fire alarm facilities. ISO field representatives use the schedule when surveying a community's fire protection capability. The score that is determined from applying the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule is translated into a public protection classification. A perfect score in Texas is 106.5. It consists of 50 points for fire department capabilities, 40 points for water supply and distribution, 10 points for receiving and handling fire alarms and 6.5 points for a "Texas Addendum" that grades fire safety education, building code enforcement, fire prevention code enforcement and fire investigation capabilities. The current rating inside the city is a 1. Outside the city, but less than 1000 feet from a fire hydrant and less than 5 driving miles from a fire station is also a 1. Outside the city and more than 1000 ft from a fire hydrant, but less than 5 miles from a fire station is a 9. For more information on ISO rating's from the State Fire Marshal's Office, please visit the State Fire Marshal's Office website at the following link.
Entry level testing is now administered by the Civil Service Director. Applicants must be at least 18, but not yet 36 years old, in order to take the general knowledge entrance test. Other specific requirements that must be met to be considered eligible for employment include:
Qualifications required to become an EMT are listed here on the Department of State Health Services website.
SB 193 requires drivers nearing stopped emergency vehicles-with lights activated -to either slow down or change lanes.
The law states a driver must. unless otherwise directed by a police officer, either vacate the lane closest to the stopped emergency vehicle if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction or slow down 20 miles per hour below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph the driver must slow down to 5 mph.)
Emergency vehicles include police, emergency medical service and fire vehicles.
A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $200. If the violation results in property damage, the maximum fine increases to $500. If the violation results in bodily injury, the offense is enhanced to a Class B misdemeanor.
The new law was passed in the last regular session of the Texas Legislature and went into effect Sept. 1, 2003.