Walnut Hill ISO drops

Published 9:48 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Homeowners in Walnut Hill, Fla., will be saving money on insurance because of the hard work and dedication of the members of the Walnut Hill Fire Department.
The fire department received notice that their International Standard Organization (ISO) Public Protection Classification Program ranking has gone down from a Class 7 to Class 6.
According to Ken Perkins, Escambia Fire Rescue Chief, the ISO ratings are on a scale from one to 10, one being excellent and 10 being little to no protection at all.
"It is very hard to obtain a Class 1 rating," Perkins said. "Not very many stations have a one."
The ISO Public Protection Classification Program deals strictly with fire.
"ISO is a third party that rates fire protection and then reports those ratings to insurance," Perkins said.
Perkins said that the rating schedule is based on three different categories including water supply, alarm and communication system and the fire department. All the ratings are done on the point system.
"The rating schedule looks at three areas," he said. "Forty percent is based on water supply, how many hydrants there are and how much water can flow through the hydrants. Ten percent is based on the alarm and communication system, how the department receives emergency calls and how they are dispatched. Fifty percent is based on the fire department, the staff, number of trucks, equipment and training records, including pre-fire training, which is when the department goes to businesses to become familiar with the building in case a fire occurs at two in the morning."
Some costs of insurance are based upon the ISO's ratings of fire departments.
"Part of homeowners insurance premium is based on the Public Protection Classification rating done by ISO," Perkins said. "Walnut Hill has a split rating. They were at 7.9 last year and this year they are at a 6.9. Within five miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant, those ratings are a six. Within five miles of a fire station but more than 1,000 feet of a hydrant, those ratings add a .9 Not within five miles of a fire station, that rating equals a 10, the worst rating possible."
The savings that homeowners will experience depends on what insurance provider they use.
"The savings depend," Perkins said. "They vary so much from different insurance companies."
The Walnut Hill Fire Department has worked diligently to get their rating down one point. Perkins said that Escambia County Fire Rescue is proud of the hard work they have shown.
"We're real proud of those guys," Perkins said. "They worked really hard to get that rating down."

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