Oolitic Fire Department Upgrades Paying Off

(OOLITIC) – The Town of Oolitic business and property owners reaping the benefits of the fire departments upgrades and training. The fire department was recently evaluated by the Insurance Services Organization, who evaluates the fire department in several areas of performance.

The fire protection rating for Oolitic has been lowered from an 8 Fire Protection Rating down to a 6 Fire Protection Rating.
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Oolitic Volunteer Fire Department
“Any time you can lower the fire protection rating one point is good, my wife works for a controller for a local company in Bedford. And any time it’s lowered the insurance rates is reduced they have to pay,” says Jon Waggoner Bedford Fire Department Fire Chief.
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Bedford Fire Department Headquarters on H Street
Bedford’s fire protection rating is a 4 with a full-time staffed professional fire department.
The Insurance Services Organization creates ratings for the fire departments and their surrounding communities. The ratings calculate how well-equipped fire departments are to put out fires in that community. The ISO provides this score, often called the “ISO fire score” to homeowner’s insurance companies. The insurers then use it to help set homeowners insurance rates.
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House fire on Greer Lane
An ISO fire rating also referred to as a fire score or Public Protection Classification is a score from 1-10 that indicates how well protected your community is by the fire department. In the ISO rating scale, a lower number is better: 1 is the best possible rating, while 10 means the fire department did not meet the minimum requirements.
Lawrence County’s Fire Departments ISO Fire Protection Ratings:

  • City of Bedford – 4
  • Guthrie Twp. – 10
  • Huron – 9
  • Indian Creek -9
  • Marion Twp. – 9
  • Marshall Twp.-9
  • City of Mitchell- 7
  • Oolitic- 6
  • Perry Twp. – 7
  • Pleasant Run-9
  • Shaw wick- 9
  • Williams -9

The fire ratings are from four main criteria to a fire rating score:

  • 50 percent from the quality of your local fire department including staffing levels, training and
  • the proximity of the firehouse.
  • 40 percent of the availability of water supply, including the prevalence of hydrants and how
  • much water is available.
  • 10 percent comes from the quality of the area’s emergency communication systems (9-1-1).
  • Courses
  • Any area that is more than 5 driving miles from the nearest fire station is automatically rated
  • a 10

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Fire hydrant with a red has below 500 gallons per minute, 500-999 GPM is orage and 1000-1499 GPM is green and 1500 GPM or more is blue.
Depending on your state, it possible to get a maximum score of 106 percent on the survey, although any fire department that scores above 90 percent receives that highest ranking of 1. Only one fire department in Indiana has a ranking of a 1 that is Pike Township, near Indianapolis.
The City of Bloomington has fire protection rating of a 2.
Insurance Rates can be impacted by the ISO ratings:
Back in 2004, in a Times-Mail related article, Jerry Taylor a insurance agent wrote policies that cost in Marshall Township was approximately $1,193, a policy in Indian Creek Twp. was $1,430 in Indian Creek Township and Perry Twp. $646 after Perry Township went down to a 7 fire protection rating.
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Not every insurance company uses the fire protection ratings, Companies such as Farm Bureau, State Farm and Erie uses a different type of classification to calculate risks. 1340 WBIW talked to the Thomas Agency who sells Erie policies, stated it has been about 20 years since they used the Insurance Services Organizations system.
“We use a variety risk calculations, and instead of covering a whole geographical area like the PPO uses. We narrow our risk factors down to a small area. So if the area was prone to weather issues or burglaries or fires only the small area could face policy changes, according to Angela Turner of Thomas Agency. “However, like in Springville the zip code goes all the way into Briarwood Addition in Marshall Township, and those areas under an ISO fire protection area may benefit from the fire protection ratings.”
Turner added, “We have people from the Woods Addition, benefiting from our new fire protection
ratings.” According to Ted Maze Fire Chief of the Oolitic Fire Department. My insurance company USAA has been reduced based on our new fire protection rating.”
Fire departments will be re-evaluated every four-five years, and fire protection ratings could up or down based on the reevaluation from the Insurance Services Organization.
Sources for this story: ValuePennquin, Times-Mail 2004 article.