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Infrastructure – not a glamorous topic!  But the threat of fire makes the subject very important.  Your Northstar Fire Department supplies truly one of the most important services in this resort community and helps to keep property values high and insurance costs low.

The Northstar Fire Department has been protecting homes and property at Northstar since 1972.  It is operated under the auspices of the Northstar Community Service District (NCSD) – which has been an independent county service district since 1990.  In addition to fire protection, the NCSD provides fuels management, water, sewer, snow removal and road maintenance and much more.

The NFD has two fire stations – one centrally located on Northstar Drive and a second mid-mountain on Highlands View Road.

The NFD is staffed full time and all personnel are Professional Firefighters and paramedics!  In addition to the Fire Chief, there are two Captains, two engineers and one firefighter.  The NFD also has a fire prevention officer and a forestry supervisor.  Quite a staff!

Your Northstar Fire Department, in addition to providing fire protection, responds to rescue and emergency services calls, and hazardous materials response.  You know they are there to respond and protect but there is much more to the story!

Water Supply   The NCSD manages the Northstar water system.  Water comes from a mountain spring that is located on the ski mountain and is augmented by a well system in Martis Valley.  Water is stored in a reservoir and in several tanks.  What makes Northstar unusual is that it sits on one of California’s largest aquifers!!!  In dry California, Northstar has ample water for its fire suppression system.

ISO Rating.  The Insurance Services Organization (ISO) is a leading source of information for property insurance risk.  The ratings are based on a 1 to 10 scoring system, with 1 being the best rating.  Most insurers use the ISO ratings to determine risk and to establish rates for fire insurance.  A community with a high rating will enjoy lower insurance rates.  The rating is based on three things.

1. 10 percent of the rating is based on fire alarm and communications systems.
2. 50 percent of the rating is the fire department and the number of stations in the community, the staffing levels, response times, staff training and pumping/aerial ladder capability.
3. The balance of the rating – 40 percent – is simply based on water, its supply system and the amount needed to suppress fires!

Northstar property owners can take comfort in knowing that the current ISO rating for their Northstar Fire Department is Class 3!  This rating was achieved in a forested area with high risk of fire!

Northstar is fortunate to have such a professional and well organized Fire Department!