Third fire station lowers insurance costs for Nikiski residents

Apr 1, 2021

Chief Crisp at the new station.
Credit Sabine Poux/KDLL

Niksiki’s third fire station came online today.

The station, on the corner of Holt-Lamplight Road and Escape Route Road, will bring emergency services closer to a large chunk of Nikiski residents.

“It’s going to provide quicker emergency response to medical and to fires in this area," said Nikski Fire Chief Bryan Crisp. "Trending for structure fires, the majority of our structure fires over the last 10 years have been in this area.”

The station will have two staff on hand at all times, plus a fire engine, pick-up and ambulance. There’s a large bay for the trucks, watch office for incoming calls and reports and patient treatment room.

“If someone comes in, like a walk-in or whatever, they’ll come in here, we’ll bring them in here, we’ll assess them," Crisp said. "We have medical equipment here for restocking the ambulance and providing that.”

Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, a weight room and a kitchen-living room area. 

Station Three has everything the other two stations have, and then some. It’s the only station with a fire pole. 

“So basically, it’s off of a sensor," Crisp said. "So once you open that, it all comes out. And the guys jump on the pole and slide down. And then it’s on a timer, it’ll close back up."

Plans for the new station have been in the works for a while. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly recently approved funding for two full-time personnel.

Crisp said residents are excited about the station. It’s partly because it will help with insurance rates.

Fire stations get scores from the Insurance Services Office, or ISO, based on how well they can service their surrounding communities. As those ratings improve, homeowner insurance rates can go down.

“So within a fire station, that rating is based off water, how many people we got at the station, how many response vehicles we got, mutual aid from Kenai or Central Emergency Services to be able to bring water in and supply manpower out here," Crisp said. "So we get evaluated every five years, roughly, on that ISO rating.”

The rating is out of 10 and the closer it is to one, the better the insurance rates. For those within a five-mile radius of a Niksiki station, the ISO rating is six. For those outside, it’s 10.

That will impact a lot of Nikiski homeowners.

“This area is a majority of the residents out in Nikiski that we cover, as far as the residential area," Crisp said. "Station one and two have more commercial properties in those areas, as well as residential. But as far as residential, this is the biggest area. That’s why we were trying to get the station here.”

The station is up and running as of April 1. Crisp says there will be a grand opening for the public this summer.