From left to right, John Meadows, Eddie Futral, Deputy Fire Chief Gary Poe, Fire Chief Kem Jones and Police Chief Charles Rafford were the key players in lowering the fire dpeartment’s ISO rating. | Alison James

Archived Story

City earns lower ISO rating

Published 11:53am Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fire insurance rates for city properties may shrink with city’s new Class 3 rank

Lower fire insurance costs may be in the future for Alexander City properties, thanks to the efforts of a number of city departments.

The Alexander City Fire Department has achieved a lower Insurance Service Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification rating – 3/9, down from 4/9 – or a score of 74.02 on a 100-point scale.

Communities are rated based on a uniform set of criteria related to the following categories: needed fire flows (the amount of water that should be available for providing fire protection at selected locations throughout a community), receiving and handling fire alarms, the fire department and the water supply. Points are given for meeting criteria – for example, a maximum of 15 points for fire department personnel, nine points for training, and four points for distribution of companies. A varied number of points are awarded different aspects in the four categories.

Cooperation among the Alexander City Fire Department, police department, water department and Adams Water Treatment Plant made this lower rating possible.

“It just shows what working together can get done,” said Mayor Charles Shaw. “It’s always beneficial when each department works together.”

The lower rating will go into effect May 1.

The Insurance Service Office is an independent, third party company that provides information about risk to insurance companies. According to the ISO, “In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC.”

Fire Chief Kem Jones said a number of factors contributed to the improved ISO rating, including new fire hydrants, a new ladder truck, improved water pumping capabilities and an upgraded dispatch center.

“As a community I think we’re very fortunate that we have an excellent communications and dispatch center,” said Police Chief Charles Rafford. “We’re also fortunate to have an excellent fire department, and we work very closely with them to make sure that we provide excellence in dispatch.”

Shaw also offered his thanks for all the hard work that has been done.

“We have some good department heads in place who work hard at what they do to make this possible,” Shaw said. “I think it sets our city apart.”

Alexander City is 1 out of 49 communities in Alabama and one out of 1,998 in the nation to achieve a Class 3 rating.

“I want to thank all the departments for working with us, and I especially want to thank the personnel of the Alexander City Fire Department for their dedication and professionalism,” Jones said.