City Fire & Rescue Services Improves ISO Rating to Highest Level

15 02 2016

Below, please find information from a News Release issued by the City of Missouri City today:

Earlier this month, Missouri City was notified by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) that effective Aug. 1, 2016, it will have a Public Protection Class rating of 1/1Y, the highest rating awarded by ISO. Currently, only 26 cities in Texas and 97 cities nationwide have achieved a Class 1 rating, a prestigious group that Missouri City will soon join thanks to the many staff members, elected officials and stakeholder partners that assisted in improving public safety needs for the “Show Me City”.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program (PPC) plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. Most U.S. insurers use the PPC information as part of their decision making when deciding what businesses to underwrite, coverages to offer or prices to charge for residential or commercial property insurance. Communities that improve their PPC rating may get lower insurance premiums.

“Receiving an ISO Class 1 is a huge achievement for a Fire Department. In the fire service world, it is a very high honor to have this designation,” Fire Chief Russell Sander said. “An ISO Class 1 public protection rating is the highest a fire department and community can receive. We are proud to join the ranks of other local, state and nationwide municipalities who have achieved a similar rating. ”

Missouri City & Rescue Services Chief Russell Sander poses in front of Fire Station 5

Missouri City & Rescue Services Chief Russell Sander poses in front of Fire Station 5

Missouri City’s Fire & Rescue Services Department put a plan in action after it received its most recent ISO rating in 2006, which at the time was an ISO Class 3 Public Protection Rating. The Department’s multi-year plan included enacting the Quint concept, improving and increasing the training of firefighters, and improving the fire education and prevention activities, such as adopting the 2015 Fire Code.

In 2014, the department had a contractor evaluate the City’s status and suggest improvements before the actual grading process began in 2015. ISO rates communities periodically based on the last PPC score. Improvements were made based on this study that were within the budgetary limits.

“The opening of Fire Station 5 was also crucial to helping the City achieve the ISO rating and ensured that residents in our ETJ received the same rating,” Chief Sander said. “Additionally, the operation of the squad full-time provided additional staff on duty. It also reduced the calls the Quint responded to out of station 1, leaving it available for fire calls.”

Property owners within five miles of a fire station and 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant could save a possible 9 percent on residential buildings and 4 percent on commercial properties. A Class 1 also assists as an economic development tool. Missouri City’s Class 1 rating will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2016 and, afterward, residents will be able to ask their insurance providers how the new rating may impact premiums.

ISO evaluates a community’s Fire Department’s response capabilities, training, and equipment. It also evaluates the 911 dispatch center’s ability to handle emergency calls. Municipal water systems are also evaluated.

More information on the program can be found on the Texas State Fire Marshal website: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/fire/fmppcfaq.html.

For more information about Missouri City, please watch the City website: http://www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter and Instagram—@MissouriCityTX and watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).





Missouri City Opens New Fire Station Tomorrow

30 06 2015

On tomorrow, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, Missouri City Fire Station 5, located at 190 Waters Lake Blvd., will officially open its doors and begin serving the southern portion of Sienna Plantation. Officers and drivers for the new station were sworn in on Thursday, June 25, at a special ceremony at the City Centre at Quail Valley, 2880 La Quinta Dr. A grand opening ceremony for the public is being planned for Saturday, Aug. 15; please watch the City’s website: www.missouricitytx.gov for details.

“The opening of Fire Station 5 has been greatly anticipated by City Council, staff and Sienna residents who will be served by the new station. The hiring of new Fire and Rescue Services staff to man the station and drive fire and rescue vehicles will also alleviate the City’s other fire stations, benefiting residents across all districts,” Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen said. “The new fire station will now open thanks to the agreement the City made with Sienna Plantation Municipal Utility District No. 1 for its funding and future operations.”

Missouri City Fire Station 5The new station is 7,848-square-feet and was designed to add a third bay in the future. The third bay can be used to house an ambulance or other resources depending on the resource needs of the area as the community reaches full build out.

“While the interior of the station provides the same functions as Fire Station 4, the layout is different to facilitate additional firefighters in the future, improve functionality of the facility and to provide a more open living area,” Fire and Rescue Services Chief Russell Sander said. “The exterior design is similar to the Sienna theme of the commercial development along Highway 6. The addition of the station will decrease response times in Sienna South by half, bringing it within national standards of five minutes and 20 seconds for the majority of the area.”

For more information about Missouri City, please visit the City website: http://www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram—@MissouriCityTX.





Stacie Walker Named Missouri City’s Director of Communications

3 07 2013

Missouri City has named Stacie Walker, who joined the City as Public Information Manager in August 2009, as the new Director of Communications. Walker brings 23 years of communications experience to the City, with expertise in news media, public relations, team management, mentoring and volunteerism.

Walker will serve as a senior member of the City’s executive team and provide guidance and leadership in community outreach with homeowners associations, media relations, event planning, web site administration, and supervision of the City’s print publications, news releases, municipal television station and radio station.

“Stacie brings a solid track record of strong news media and communication abilities as evidenced by her work for the City,” said Assitant City Manager Bill Atkinson. “We are excited to have Stacie move to the position of Director of Communications, where she will work on a multifaceted approach to keeping our citizens informed about the City of Missouri City”.

Among her many achievements, Walker contributed to numerous award-winning reports during her 15 years as Assignment Editor at Newsday in Melville, New York. Her tenure there included winning a Pulitzer Prize, Publisher’s awards, and numerous editing, management and leadership honors. She also completed a Management/Leadership Fellowship at HarvardUniversity in 2006.

Walker earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from DowlingCollege in Oakdale, New York in 1999 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas in 1991.





Fort Bend County, Fireworks, and Drought

28 12 2012

Just in time for New Year’s Eve, the Texas Forest Service has determined that drought conditions no longer exist in Fort Bend County.  The KBDI Index must be an average of 575 for drough conditions to exist within a TexasFireworks county for the purpose of restricting certain aerial fireworks.  Though the County’s index was nearing 500 just a few weeks ago, it is now at 419.  So aerial fireworks will now be allowed to be used in the unincorporated areas of the County on New Year’s Eve; but remember, most cities have bans on the use of fireworks.  Please check with your local jurisdiction to make sure what the regulations are for use of fireworks.

However, many places in Texas are still facing drought conditions.  Public water systems across the State, and in our area, are taking actions to conserve water usage.  There is a possibility that dry conditions may continue across the State for the next several months.  As a matter of fact, the Gulf Coast Water Authority is attempting to limit the use of water by ten percent.  The Gulf Coast Water Authority provides water to some areas in Fort Bend County.  For more information, the City of Missouri City has issued a Media News Release on the subject (published on December 28, 2012).  The content of the News Release is below:

Missouri City Drought Contingency Implementation

Texas is experiencing widespread drought conditions. Forecasts for early 2013 include below normal rainfall and above normal temperatures. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has issued an Order requiring the implementation of certain water use restrictions, and, as a result, the Gulf Coast Water Authority has set a goal of 10 percent reduction in water use. As a result, effective December 28, 2012, the City of Missouri City has implemented the Stage 2 Response of its Drought Contingency Plan for its Surface Water Treatment Plant Utility Service Area.  This is the area served by Sienna Plantation Municipal Utility Districts. 

The current (time period) water supply reductions and corresponding demand restrictions are temporary in nature; however, the current end date is unknown. 

The City in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Water authority will be monitoring usage and sharing information, and the City will be supplying notice and reports relating to the drought contingency plan to local and state authorities.  

At this time, for residents of Sienna Plantation utility districts, please implement the water conservation measures specified by your utility provider.  Typical water use restrictions include limitations on outdoor watering and at home washing of vehicles.

For more information, please contact your utility provider at the number on your water bill or you may contact the City for additional information at 281-403-8500.





Fort Bend among top counties for job growth

21 08 2012

Olivia Pusinelli wrote the following article which was published by the Houston Business Journal on Tuesday, August 21st.  The article provides an overview of a new CNN Money survey which ranks a total of 25 U.S. Counties based on job opportunities and quality of life.

Fort Bend and Montgomery counties have made CNN Money’s “Where the jobs are” list.  With 78.1 percent job growth between 2000 and 2011, Fort Bend County comes in at No. 2 out of the 25 counties on the list. CNN Money notes that a favorable tax structure, strong school system and proximity to Houston help attract businesses such as Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) and CVR Energy Inc. (NYSE: CVI).

Montgomery County ranks No. 4 with 63.5 percent job growth. CNN Money cites expansions at Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) as evidence of opportunities in The Woodlands area. Exxon’s 385-acre corporate campus south of The Woodlands is expected to have 10,000 employees by 2015.

Other Texas counties also take top spots, with Williams County near Austin at No. 3 with 73.9 percent growth, Collin County near Dallas at No. 6 with 55.9 percent growth, and Denton County near Dallas at No. 7 with 53.4 percent growth.





City of Missouri City provides its citizens with information on how to prepare for a hurricane before one threatens the area

22 07 2012

The City of Missouri City recently issued a news release providing good information on how to prepare the trees in your yard for a hurricane.  This is information that all citizens in Fort Bend County should keep in mind when preparing for the 2012 Hurricane Season.  The news release, published on July 13, 2012,  is below:

Don’t forget: It’s still hurricane season! Even though there has been no significant activity yet this year in theGulfCoast, a storm could hit at any time.

While many of you are hustling and bustling to prepare your children for the upcoming school year, we suggest you also focus on the root of one potential hurricane hazard:  Trimming and pruning your trees.

“Proper tree pruning can go a long way in protecting your property from major storms,” said City Forester Paul Wierzbicki.

When pruning your trees, look for: dead or broken branches; crossing or grafting branches; trunks or branches with signs of wood decay or fungus, or large branches or trunks that come together in a sharp “V” crotch. “These are generally the trouble-makers during storms,” Wierzbicki said.

Trimming and pruning your trees is important, but overly doing it can cause more harm than good. Wierzbicki cautions homeowners to not excessively prune trees, as doing so increases the risk of the tree splitting or “heaving out of the ground.”

Maintaining your trees by trimming and pruning them allows wind to easily blow through. During hurricanes, in which wind speeds can reach over 155 mph, limbs can become projectiles, breaking windows and damaging roofs. They also can cause serious bodily injury, even death.

Uprooted trees and downed limbs also can seriously hinder recovery efforts, said Judy Lefevers, the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator. Properly maintained trees make it easier for power crews who often have to work around the sometimes puzzle-like pains to get to power lines. Crews can work more quickly to restore power if tree limbs aren’t in their way.

Since we are on the topic of trees, we’re going to branch out and provide you another important advisory about trees from the City’s Code Enforcement division.

The drought from last year and the rains received this year have presented some challenging issues forMissouri Cityand surrounding areas.  The drought has caused an increase in the number of trees that are dead and have become fire hazards. These types of trees also can easily become home to many unwanted critters. 

The rains received this year have been much needed, but they have directly caused two important issues relating to high grass and weed violations and trees overhanging sidewalks and roadways.  With this in mind the City wants to remind all citizens of the following regulations: 

  1. Dead trees are an “unsanitary matter” violation within the Code of Ordinances and must be removed.
  2. High grass and weeds nine (9) inches or more are a violation of the Code of Ordinances and must be cut.
  3. Tree limbs, brush or other vegetation less than eight (8) feet above the pavement of a sidewalk are a violation of the Code of Ordinances and must be trimmed.
  4. Tree limbs, brush or other vegetation less than thirteen and one half (13’1/2”) feet above the pavement of a roadway are a violation of the Code of Ordinances and must be trimmed.  
  5. Tree limbs, brush or other vegetation that obscures a motorist’s or pedestrian’s view of any street intersection, sign or traffic control device are a violation of the Code of Ordinances and must be trimmed.

For more information about tree ordinances, or any other City ordinances, visit the City’s website, www.missouricitytx.gov. On the homepage, type “ordinances” in the search box.

And, if you’re stumped and need more information about proper trimming and pruning of trees Wierzbicki suggests consulting an ISA Certified Professional Arborist to help you identify tree defects and give you an honest assessment regarding your trees’ structure and health. To find a local ISA Certified Arborist in your area visit www.treesaregood.org.





Fort Bend County Regional SWAT Obtains New Vehicle

5 02 2012

The following item is an article that was published online by yoursugarlandnews.com on February 2, 2012.  It provides good information about an effort over the last two years to build a Fort Bend County team of law enforcement officers capable of responding to high-risk situations.  It is important to note that the “Fort Bend County team” is a multi-agency collaborative effort involving the cities of Missouri City, Rosenberg, Stafford, Sugar Land and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.  Danny Jan, Captain in the Sheriff’s Office, has been integral part in facilitating meetings and getting all the agencies to come together to form the team.  The Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management has played a key role in the development of the grant applications required to fund the team’s formation.  By using Urban Area Securities Initiative (UASI) monies, the Fort Bend County Regional SWAT effort is able to be deployed anywhere in the five-county Houston Urban Area should a need arise.  The article below provides more information about the team and the new vehicle it has just recently received:

Leaders of the Fort Bend Regional SWAT Team are shown with the team's new Bearcat. They include, from the left, Capt. Scott Soland, Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office and West Division Commander; Sgt. Wayne Coleman, Sugar Land Police Department, East Division; Sgt. Kurt Maxheimer, Missouri City Police Department, East Division; Sgt. Brian Baker, Rosenberg Police Department, West Division; Sgt. Patrick Herman, Stafford Police Department; Capt. James Davis, Sugar Land Police Department and East Division Commander; and Sgt. Reggie Powell, Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office, West Division.

Fort Bend County’s new tactical, armored response and rescue vehicle is expected to enhance the safety of SWAT officers throughout the region.

Known simply as the Bearcat, the newly realigned Fort Bend Regional SWAT Team will utilize the vehicle for deployments throughout the county. The Bearcat, which carries up to 10 people, can traverse a variety of terrain. The vehicle has been utilized by police for barricaded situations, high-risk warrants, active shooters, dignitary transport and more. The Bearcat has proven itself in the field as an invaluable resource in high-risk situations, most recently in Tyler, Texas, where a SWAT team last year approached a kidnapping and murder suspect who was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Excerpts from a PoliceOne.com article follow:

The officers were investigating the house of Howard Granger, a suspect in the murder of Benjamin Gill Clements – the son of a former Texas governor. The suspect fired 35 rounds at the Bearcat before a sniper brought him down.  “It allowed officers to approach the residence safely and protected them under heavy fire from a very high-powered rifle,” said Tyler PD SWAT Commander Rusty Jacks, noting the vehicle saved lives and prevented injury to SWAT officers.

Fort Bend County purchased its Bearcat with an Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Homeland Security Grant Program.  According to FEMA, the UASI Program provides funding to address the unique planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas and assists them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism. Per the 9/11 Act, states are required to ensure that at least 25 percent of UASI appropriated funds are dedicated towards law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.

The Fort Bend Regional SWAT team is comprised of an east division staffed by the Missouri City, Sugar Land and Stafford Police Departments and a west division comprised of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and the Rosenberg Police Department.  The effort through the five agencies here is also a component of a higher security push in the Greater Houston area with other law enforcement agencies.

The objective of the regional team is to:  1) allow for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure; 2) enable a coordinated response among various jurisdictions; and 3) establish common processes for planning and managing resources.

The acquisition of the new Bearcat is one example that illustrates a year-long effort by law enforcement agencies throughout the county to collaborate more closely on regional partnerships, especially in the area of SWAT response.