BY MELANIE BUCK –
Several fire departments in Polk County have lowered their ISO ratings bringing safety and money saving value to the community. All of the departments listed began their ratings with a 9 and have all worked very hard to lower them, but with a lot of training and even more paperwork, they did just that.
According to Polk County Emergency Coordinator, James Reeves, The City of Hatfield and Hatfield Rural Volunteer Department have lowered their rating to a 6, as has Cove City Fire Department. Cove Rural Volunteer Fire Department made an even larger leap and was able to bring their rating down to a 5. Already on the list with a 6 were Ink, who just recently lowered theirs, and Dallas Valley who has maintained a 6 for some time.
Ink’s rating will be effective on June 1, 2016, while the rest will go into effect on July 1, 2016. Reeves said the process of lowering the ratings has changed slightly and departments no longer have to spend two to three days each with the ISO inspector, but just one day, saving time. Another time saver has been email and digital record keeping, making it much easier to send and receive documents between departments and inspectors.
Other than obvious safety benefits, residents will reap the rewards via homeowners insurance, which will lower when the ratings become effective. “It benefits everyone because with the money saved on homeowners insurance, they will be able to reinvest their money into other things, into the community,” said Reeves. “A lot of businesses that are looking to relocate look at things like ISO ratings and insurance rates so having all of these ratings lowered will be a benefit they see in our area.”