Pembroke home and business owners should see lower insurance premiums in October, after the Pembroke Fire Department dropped its ISO rating from a 5/9 to a 4/9 — or a 4/4x under the new rating system.
The lower rating comes as a result of a lot of hard work, Pembroke Fire Chief Peter Waters said.
“A lot of hours went into it,” he said. “The people in this department poured their heart and soul into it for about a month.”
Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell was also fired up to learn the city’s ISO rating had dropped.
“I was thrilled,” she said. “Chief Peter Waters has worked diligently on improvements in our department from increasing the number of volunteer firefighters by regularly recruiting members, to increased training opportunities for new as well as long term volunteers, and keeping all reporting up to date with the state of Georgia.”
That reporting included three years of testing records and regularly reporting fire calls to the state, Waters said.
“I’ve got to credit the people in this department for their hard work on this,” he added.
The ISO, or Insurance Service Office inspections, are done every five years. In general, the lower the rating on a scale of 1 to 10, the less it usually costs to insure homes and businesses because that means there’s better fire protection, officials say. Richmond Hill’s rating has been 4 for some time.
Split ratings such as those given to Pembroke and Bryan County, which just released its rating of 5/5x, are based at least in part on things such as distance from fire stations, the department’s training and the availability of water supplies.
It’s unclear how much savings the decrease in IS0 rating will mean for Pembroke home and business owners, but Waters said he heard it could mean as much as 7 to 15 percent.
Bryan County Emergency Service Director Freddy Howell also gave his department credit for its work on maintaining its rating.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work the fire personnel have put into helping maintain this rating,” he said.
For Pembroke, the lower ISO rating is just part of a bigger plan, Warnell said.
“Our goal is to become an accredited fire department and I think we now have the confidence we can achieve that goal for the citizens of Pembroke,” she said.