BY MELANIE BUCK –
Ink Volunteer Fire Department is seeing the fruits of their labor via a new ISO rating that will not only benefit the department, but the homeowners they serve in their district. Ink Fire Chief Dan Hostetler said they have jumped from a classification of 9 to a 6, a large leap in fire department standards. “This is something we’ve been shooting for over the last six years. We have worked hard, trained hard, completed all the paperwork, and more,” Hostetler explained.
ISO is an acronym for Insurance Service Office and rates departments on the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of individual communities or fire protection areas. The scale is rated 10-1, with 1 being the top notch. There are less than 40 departments nationwide that bring in a class 1 rating but more and more rural departments are striving to get close, including local Polk County Departments. The ratings are based on extent of training, response times, water supply including hydrants, testing of equipment, and many more aspects.
Most insurance agencies extend the hard work of the departments by lowering homeowner’s insurance rates based on ISO ratings. In fact, a jump as large as Ink’s could have a big impact on citizens in their area. “It’s something that we feel like we are giving back to the community via the substantial savings they will have in homeowner’s insurance,” said Hostetler.
The new rating will take effect in June and Hostetler says they will continue to try for even better ratings in the future. Ink Fire Department joins Dallas Valley Volunteer Fire Department with their rating of 6 and they stand as the only two rural departments in the county with such a rating.