Newton County's Fire Service improved its Insurance Services Office rating this year which could lead to lower insurance payments for some residents.
ISO is actually a company that measures cities and county's abilities to quickly respond to and fight structure, or building, fires. Its rating is done on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the worst rating and 1 being the best.
Newton County's fire department received a Class 5/9 rating, which improved from the Class 6/9 rating it received in 1994. The split rating reflects the ratings of people who do (5 rating) and don't (9 rating) live within 1,000 feet and five road miles of a fire station.
The new ISO class will go into effect Sept. 1, and it can play an important role in the underwriting process for insurance companies. Each insurance company independently determines its premium for policy holders, and an improvement in a community's classification can result in reduced premiums. Residents should direct questions regarding insurance premiums to their insurance carrier.
"As always, I was very impressed with all of the hard work of those involved in our ISO inspection and the months of work leading up to this event," said Chief Kevin O'Brien. "Newton County should be proud of their fire department and those departments who make our job a success."
O'Brien said residents can direct any questions about the fire department or its ISO rating to him at (678) 625-5010.
ISO evaluated the Newton County Fire Service in January, collecting and evaluating training records, staffing, hydrant servicing, pump testing, apparatus operator training, hose testing, company drills, officer training, ladder testing, hazardous materials training, equipment inventory, pre-fire plans/inspections, station distribution, recruit training programs, engine company credit, ladder company credit and service company credit.
The ISO evaluation examines the Covington-Newton County 911 Center, water system and fire department.
Each category is given a point value and there are measurable objectives that must be met to earn overall points.
The 911 center accounts for 10 points, the water system for 40 points and the fire department for 50 points.