MAYFLOWER — Since he took office in 2006, Mayflower Fire Department Chief Carl Rossini said lowering his district’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating has been one of his top priorities.
After years of work and advancements, it was announced at the Mayflower City Council on Nov. 26 that new, lower ISO ratings would go into effect in beginning Feb. 1, 2014.
One reason for the lower ratings is the construction of a fire substation on Easterwood Point Road.
The Mayflower fire district includes both city and rural areas, which fall on both sides of railroad tracks. Rossini said responding to fires across the railroad tracks had become a recurring problem that needed to be addressed.
"After looking at the equipment and getting familiar with the area of the Mayflower fire district, there were problems with time frames, getting from point A to point B," Rossini said.
The construction of the substation, completed in 2011, has helped alleviate some of those issues.
Beginning Feb. 1, 2014, ISO ratings for Mayflower residents within five driving miles of the central station will be a Class 5, down from a Class 7. For Mayflower residents within five driving miles of the substation, ISO ratings will also be a Class 5, down from a Class 9.
Residents outside of the classifications are asked to contact their individual insurance companies.
"Some people I’ve talked to in the city, and in rural areas, this will save them up to $400 a year," Rossini said. "That’s why we’re trying to get the word out to these people now, so they can go ahead and talk to their insurance companies and see how this benefits them."
Individual insurance savings would vary, and depend on residents’ insurance rates, property value, among other variables, Rossini said.
According to ISO’s website, the Public Protection Classifications are decided by analyzing data through the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which factors in emergency communications, fire department, water supply and community risk reduction.
For a district to earn better than a Class 8, there must be a minimum water supply of 250 gallons-per-minute for a two-hour duration in the area, along with one "suitably equipped engine that responds to all first alarm structural fires," the ISO website states. The engine must have a pump capacity of at least 750 gpm at 150 psi, along with a water tank in accordance with the general criteria.
Rossini said the lowered ISO ratings are do to the joint effort of city officials and residents, along with the fire department.
"When you’ve got a department that works together, and the community works with you, along with the mayor and city council, it says you’re in a good stable area where you have the support," he said. "If you don’t have the support of the people, it’s hard to reach these goals."
For more information, Mayflower residents are encouraged to call the Mayflower Fire Department at 501-470-1200.
Spencer Griffin contributed to this article.
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