The fire-protection services of DeKalb County Fire Department’s Liberty and Dowelltown service areas, as evaluated and rated by Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), has improved from Class 9 to Class 6. The entire city limits of Dowelltown and Liberty Fire Service Areas will become an ISO Class 6 protection area as of June 1, 2009. This means that if your property is within 5 road miles of the DeKalb County Fire Department’s Liberty Station, a fire hydrant is located within 1,000 feet of your property, and you live within the city limits of Dowelltown or Liberty, you will receive a Class 6 Protection Rating. This improvement is expected to save residents in these areas about $200 annually on their homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Liberty Mayor Edward Hale says, “I am tremendously proud of the level of fire protection and efficiency provided by our fire department, water system, and 911 center. The hard work put forth by our fire department has resulted in this improved rating that positively affects everyone, especially those living on fixed incomes.”
Dowelltown Mayor Gerald Bailiff says, “this drastically improved fire protection rating will benefit our residents in Dowelltown by not only saving them money, but also by assuring our citizens that they have a level of fire protection that should make everyone feel more safe. During this period of economic downturn, the savings on our homeowners’ insurance premiums are definitely welcome news. We very much appreciate the time and dedication that our volunteer firefighters give to our communities.”
DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster says, “we are extremely proud of this progress that results in direct savings to our home owners and business owners. Our ultimate goal is to improve our fire protection ratings countywide. The fire department, as evident by this evaluation, has made significant strides in improving fire protection in DeKalb County’s communities. The financial impact of this new rating is very important, but just as important is the fact that our communities should enjoy the reassurance that DeKalb County Fire Department is providing a level of service, using an all-volunteer staff, that many communities would love to have. Residents and property owners of DeKalb County should know that their dollars are spent very efficiently. Some changes in the fire service area that brought about the class 6 rating include: a new fire engine in Liberty, a committed firefighter training program, a new tanker truck, a very efficient 911 communications center, and installation of fire hydrants in these service areas. This rating change was no small task. We want to recognize the DeKalb County Fire Department, and the Dowelltown-Liberty Water System for the efficient operation of the community’s water system, the DeKalb County 911 Emergency Communications District, who provides excellent dispatch and technological communications services for the entire county.”
“Our ability to improve our PPC classification was positively influenced by our increase in training activities, updated equipment, the DeKalb 911 Emergency Communication District’s efficiency in receiving and handling fire alarms, and the ability of the water systems in both Dowelltown and Liberty to deliver sufficient water flows. DeKalb County Fire Department’s Dowelltown and Liberty service areas became one of only 185 fire departments in Tennessee to achieve a Class 6 rating according to the latest information from ISO. Of the 1,011 fire departments in Tennessee, the majority, 331, are ranked as Class 9 fire departments according to ISO. This is a huge step,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green.
ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The company then assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program doesn't meet ISO's minimum criteria.
ISO will advise its subscribing insurers of this classification change. The rating becomes effective June 1, 2009. Homeowners in the city limits of Liberty and Dowelltown should check with their insurance companies after that date to make sure these savings are applied.