The community’s Insurance Services Office rating has improved by a point, and the change could affect insurance premiums for local homeowners and commercial businesses.
Fire Chief Chad Mosby recently announced that the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule and Public Protection Classification grade has risen from 3 to 2 within the El Dorado Fire Department’s fire protection service area.
The new rating goes into effect Friday, and Mosby is urging citizens to contact their insurance companies about possible changes in their premiums due to the improved rating.
The ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program figures prominently in the underwriting process for insurance companies.
Most insurance companies in the U.S. use the ISO information when deciding what businesses to underwrite, coverages to offer and rates to charge for personal and commercial property insurance.
Typically, the higher the ISO rating, the lower the insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties, Mosby has explained.
He said the notification about the community’s ISO rating change was sent out in late August.
“We have had insurance companies calling already because of the notification. Those premiums are determined by insurers, and each company sets their premiums differently, as determined by the ISO rating,” Mosby explained.
The community’s PPC grade is derived from evaluations of:
• Needed Fire Flows, which are representative building locations used to determine, theoretically, the amount of water that is necessary for fire suppression purposes.
• Emergency Communications, including emergency reporting, telecommunications and dispatching systems.
• Fire Department, including equipment, staffing, training, geographic distribution of fire companies, operational considerations and community risk reduction.
• Water Supply, including inspection and flow testing of hydrants, alternative water supply operations, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount that is needed to suppress fires up to 3,500 gallons per minute.
A maximum credit of 105.5 is available for the evaluation. The EFD earned a total credit of 82.
In several categories that fell under the four criteria that make up the PPC grade, the fire department earned perfect scores
The EFD grabbed maximum scores of 100 in two of the categories for emergency communications: emergency reporting and telecommunicators.
For the Fire Department criterion, the EFD earned a score of 36.85 out of 50 available credits.
Credits of 6.85 and 5.44 were applied in the company personnel and training categories. Total credit that was available in those categories was 15 and 9, respectively.
The EFD earned a credit of 25 out of 25 for company training.
To earn maximum credit for company training, each firefighter — the EFD has 51 available slots for uniformed personnel and three are open — should receive 16 hours of training per month in structure-fire related subjects, as outlined by the National Fire Protection Association.
Mosby thanked the El Dorado City Council for its support of the EFD over the past five years.
“It’s a good yardstick of how we’ve improved the service that we provide for our citizens,” Mosby told city officials earlier this month.
“This city council provides the fire department with excellent equipment, and that plays a big part,” the fire chief continued.
Mosby said the ISO rating covers the EFD’s fire protection service area/fire district.
The community classification of 2, or second class, applies to properties beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant but within five road miles of a recognized fire station.
The city has four fire stations, Central Fire Station next to City Hall on North West Avenue and three substations on the north, east and west side of town.
In response to a question from Alderman Billy Blann, Mosby said that if someone is heading east, the fire district stops at city limits.
Blann also noted that some houses in the Mystic Creek Golf Course community on Arkansas 335 are within the city’s district and others on the back side of the property are not within the district.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.