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Valdosta Fire Department receives accolades for superior fire protection

The rating could help lower insurance rates.
The Valdosta Fire Department recently received the highest rating possible for community fire...
The Valdosta Fire Department recently received the highest rating possible for community fire protection efforts, which could help lower insurance premiums.(WALB)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 11:28 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, GA. (WCTV) - The Valdosta Fire Department recently received the highest rating possible for community fire protection efforts, which could help lower insurance premiums.

In a news release, the City of Valdosta said the department was notified that they have maintained a Class 1 rating. It is the highest rating issued by the Insurance Service Office (ISO), which analyzes data from cities across the country. The Public Protection Classification system is a tool used by property and casualty insurance companies to assess their risks and essentially set their rates.

Home insurance companies may offer lower rates for homes in a good ISO rating community. For example, a well-prepared fire department would be able to put out a house fire more quickly, thus lessening the risk of damage or loss.

“The support from our city leadership and elected officials in maintaining the department’s needs for our growing community is reflected in our rating,” said Fire Chief Brian Boutwell.

The city said the rating was maintained with the help of Valdosta Utilities, the Southern Georgia Regional Commission, and Lowndes Communications Center.

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.

The areas rated include the fire department, water distribution, and the dispatch center capabilities. Any score of 90 or above is considered a Class 1 fire department. Last October, the evaluation returned, indicating an overall score of 94.95, which has increased from the 2016 score of 93.25.

“I am very proud of the men and women of the Valdosta Fire Department that understand the importance of professionalism and remarkable customer service,” Boutwell said.

ISO is a leading source of information, products, and services about property and liability risks. It provides statistical, actuarial, underwriting, claims, and related news and analyses to insurers, reinsurers, agents, insurance regulators, and other government agencies.

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