Brooksville area gets ISO reclassification

The Brooksville Fire and Rescue Department was recently notified that the ISO classification fortheareahasimprovedfroma9ratingtoa6/9 classification, as a result of a review conducted in late September last year.

The composite classification means that some households – those that fall into the 6 rating area – stand to benefit from reduced insurance rates. All properties that are within five road miles of the fire station and within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant fall into the 6 category. Properties that are beyond 1000 feet of a fire hydrant will continue to carry the 9 rating. Prior to the current reclassification, the entire area had an ISO rating of 9.

The ISO classification determines rates that homeowners are charged for fire protection by insurance companies. The lower the ISO classification, the lower the rates that should apply. Residents who meet the ISO 6 criteria should contact their insurance companies for revised insurance quotes.

Brooksville Fire and Rescue chief Lane Pettit said that residents who do not live within 1000 feet of fire hydrants may be able to improve their insurance rates by buying their own fire hydrants from the local water company, provided they live on a road that has a six-inch water main. The savings on insurance cost would pay for the fire hydrants in two to three years, he said.

He added that properties on roads with water mains smaller than six inches cannot benefit, since the mains themselves would have to be upgraded before fire hydrants could be installed.

Pettit noted that the ISO rating has three weighted components: 50 percent is attributable to the responding fire department, 40 to the capabilities and characteristics of the local water company, and 10 percent to the quality of the communications system.

“That means that we in the fire department can control only half of the factors that go into the ISO rating. Half of them are beyond our control. But we still try to make the best showing possible on the half that we can control,” he said.

“The ISO review determined that we need one to two more fire stations to better serve our residents,” Pettit said. “We have some residents that are more than five miles from our station. We are currently seeking land to build on or a building we can convert to a second fire station in the Rock Springs area. When we complete a second station, we will purchase a fire engine for that station.”

“That’s our goal,” he said. “We’re not done. In fact, we’re just getting started. In addition to a second station we’dliketobringthat9downtoa7inthoseareasthatare still rated 9, but it’ll take more funding to do it. We’ll need our residents in the area to help us do it,” Pettit said.

He said residents can help by adding $5 donations to their water bills each month, by participating in fire department fundraisers, or by donating directly to the department.

“I ask residents to help us help you by supporting us with your donations,” Pettitt said. “That enables us to purchase the equipment we need to serve you better.” Send donations to Brooksville Fire and Rescue, 81390 U.S. Highway 278, Blountsville, AL 35031.