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Part of the premium is determined by the strength of the fire protection provided to the property by the Village. The quality of fire protection for a given area is determined by an organization sponsored by the insurance industry. This organization is known as the Insurance Services Office (ISO). ISO grades fire protection for an area on a 1 to10 grading system (1 being the best). The Village of Skokie has an ISO Class 1 rating.
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All members of the Skokie Fire Department are medically trained and assist the ambulance personnel with medical aid and carrying and lifting equipment.
Firefighters must train in some capacity every day. They are required to train an average of 20 hours in fire related training and three hours of emergency medical continuing education each month. Firefighters also have to assist the Fire Prevention Bureau with commercial fire inspections. Combined they are responsible for 3,000 inspections annually.
Firefighters also are responsible for cleaning and maintaining equipment and the fire stations. Occasionally, during non-emergency periods, firefighters drive around town and touring buildings to become familiar with Village streets and neighborhoods as well as business districts. This saves valuable time when actually responding to emergencies.
The rest of their time is spent preparing meals, reading, studying, exercising and sleeping. However, firefighters are trained to always be alert and prepared to answer emergency calls.
State law dictates that vehicles yield to emergency vehicles that are operating their emergency lights and siren. Emergency vehicle drivers are taught to pass on the left whenever possible when responding in an emergency mode.
When safe, slow down, pull over to the right, and stop. However, there are circumstances where that may not be possible (if your car is already stopped, and you don't have anywhere to pull over). Simply stay put until the emergency vehicle goes around you.
If you are blocking the route of the emergency vehicle, and you are able to pull ahead and over into a clear area, use your turn signal to indicate your intentions, and proceed at a safe speed. Never slam on the brakes and stop in the middle of the road when you see apparatus approaching.
Make no sudden moves. If an emergency vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, you should pull over and stop. You have no idea if they are proceeding down the road, or are planning on turning into a driveway or intersection right in front of you.
You are not required to slow down or pull over for emergency vehicles that are responding in the opposite direction on a divided highway. Do not tailgate, "draft," or follow a responding apparatus closely. Not only is this illegal, you run the risk of collision as vehicles pull back out into traffic after the emergency vehicle goes by.