Tyronza Fire Department improves safety rating

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tyronza residents will start saving money on their homeowner's insurance this year thanks to the Tyronza Fire Department. For years, TFD has been working to update its equipment to improve the city's ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating. Insurance companies use a city's ISO rating to assess a city's Public Protection Classification and calculate insurance rates.

According to Tyronza Mayor Charles Glover, the city's ISO rating has dropped from a 7 to a 4. ISO ratings are figured on a 1-10 scale with 1 being the best. This means homeowner's insurance on the average $100,000 home will be reduced by about $150 a year.

"It's a big deal to get our rating down," Mayor Glover said. "It's going to mean actual savings to citizens." Mayor Glover commended the fire department for all the work they did in getting the rating lowered.

Work on lowering the rating was begun by Tommy Baine when he was fire chief. He got a lot of the work done, then David Wood took over as fire chief when Baine passed away last year.

According to Chief Wood, Tyronza tried for a lower rating in 1997 but failed because the fire trucks and water system were out of date. Since then, the department has acquired new trucks and better equipment, new fireplugs have been installed and the water system improved, water pumps are tested once a year, and hoses are tested regularly. Fire fighters also receive at least three hours of training per month on different types of equipment on the trucks, and Chief Wood has completed instructor training at the fire academy. He will now be able to train his people in-house, resulting in more training.

"We haven't stopped yet. We're working to drop our ISO rating more and lower it to a 3," Chief Wood said. "The fire department is working hard and doing everything we can to help home owners get their insurance lowered."

TFD has also started the National Fire Protection Association's Firewise program, which is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters. The program helps to reduce grass and brush fires by involving homeowners in preparing their homes against the risk of wildfire. "As part of Firewise, the fire department looks at houses and businesses and looks for ways homeowners might minimize their risk of fire potential." Mayor Glover said.

City hall is also working on making decals available announcing support for the fire department. They will be available from city hall for $20 each with the money going toward TFD.

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