Minooka Fire Chief Al Yancey said it took a lot of hard work, but they also stood on the shoulders of giants. The Minooka Fire Protection District was recognized this week by the State Fire Marshal's Office for receiving an ISO Class 1 certification, the 21st fire department in Illinois to receive it.
"Just 0.05 percent of fire departments receive the rating," State Fire Marshall Matt Perez said as he recognized the department.
To receive the certification the district was graded on factors such as communication, training and even the water service in the area they serve. In the Minooka district's case, that meant working with the villages of both Minooka and Channahon to ensure the water service met the standards.
"It really was a team effort," Yancey said.
Perez said having community support is important to both earning the certification and for the fire protection district as a whole.
"You seem to have the support of the community. It's one thing to have a vision," he said. "It's another to have money and a vision."
Becoming an ISO Class 1 department took years of preparation and a couple visits from the grader. Yancey said while they're proud to have the rating, it wasn't necessarily the goal.
"The things we did we did for community service," he said.
One of the benefits for the community could be lower insurance ratings.