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Lowndesboro continues to enjoy ‘excellent’ ISO rating

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

According to the latest news from ISO (Insurance Service Organization), Lowndesboro residents will continue to enjoy the benefits of an excellent fire insurance rating for a town its size.

However, according to Dennis Blair, chairman of the Lowndesboro Volunteer Fire Department, to maintain the town’s status, younger firefighters are urged to join the Lowndesboro Volunteer Fire Department.

Five years ago, ISO dropped Lowndesboro from a rating of 10 (highest possible) to 6. And according to Blair, “This reduced the fire insurance cost for most residence in Lowndesboro and a five-mile area around Lowndesboro to half of what the class 10 was.” And, he said, “Because of this rating, people saved about half on their home insurance.”

Blair shared a copy of a letter from Alex Shubert of the ISO National Processing Center dated Aug. 27, 2018 showing Lowndesboro received a rating of 06/6X, which means, “We stayed the same.”

He said, “With a department our size, it is almost impossible go any lower. A classification of 5 or 6 for a town our size is excellent.”

The letter from ISO to Blair was copied to Wynn Ellis, water operator for Lowndesboro Water Works, Brian Keith Hudson, chief of the Lowndesboro Volunteer Fire Department, and Santina Rogers, director of Lowndes County 911.”

Blair explained of the ISO, “They look at our equipment, paperwork such as training and emergency calls we receive. They also look at our water pressure and the amount of water available for any given fire situation. Point are given for each area.”

He went on to say of the Lowndesboro Volunteer Fire Department, “Most of our active firefighters are from 60 years of age to 80. Unless there are younger residence joining the department, this rating may be in jeopardy next inspection.”

Blair said, “The current volunteers are fully committed to doing their best, but age has a way of interfering. We are beginning to draft a training schedule for the next year with new members in mind. We hope those who were active will continue to be and that younger residence come and join our efforts to protect our community.”

In his letter, reporting Lowndesboro received a 06/6X rating, Shubert wrote, “We wish to thank you and Mr. Brian Hudson (Lowndesboro VFD fire chief) for your cooperation during out recent Public Protection Classification (PPC) survey. ISO has completed its analysis of the structural fire suppression delivery system provided in your community.”

He wrote, “ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. If fact, most U.S. insurers – including the largest ones – use PPC information as part of their decision-making when what business to write, coverages to offer or prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance.”

Shubert also wrote, “ISO appreciates the high level of cooperation extended by local officials during the entire PPC survey process.”

Hudson said, “I’m very pleased that everybody is still maintaining their enthusiasm where we can keep it (the 6 rating) with our training and everything… and have a reduction in insurance for another five or six years.”

He said Lowndesboro will schedule year-long training for its volunteers and echoes Blair saying, “We need younger guys to step up and volunteer.”

Hudson said Lowndesboro will participate with the Burkville Volunteer Fire Department at the end of September with a driving simulator and burn trailer.

He said the driving simulator is like an IMAX screen where one appears to be sitting in a fire truck or ambulance and learns to drive then under different road conditions.