Baldwin Fire Department ISO rating improves

The Baldwin Fire Department’s ISO rating has improved from a 9 to a 7, according to Fire Chief Mike Rademacher.
That’s good news for Baldwin residents, Rademacher said.
The rating chage could affect property insurance rates. Rademacher said his own homeowner’s insurance premium saw a $634 drop because of the better rating.
“This is good news for everybody,” he said.
ISO, or Insurance Services Offices, is a for-profit service to insurance companies that analyzes risks for many different types of insurance. The ISO rating classifies fire districts according to criteria designed to tell how well a fire department is able to handle structural fires, residential and commercial, in the district.
The Public Protection Classification ranges from very good (Class 1) to inadequate (Class 10). The ratings are sold to insurance companies and agents and are not made available to policy holders or to the general public. Insurance companies potentially use these classifications to evaluate their risk in insuring a property that is serviced by the rated fire department.
Three main areas are considered as part of the rating: fire department staffing and equipment, community water supply, and the dispatch system.
The ISO maintains that there should be a financial benefit to those communities that invest in their local fire departments with training opportunities, communication upgrades and improving water supply.
The new rating becomes effective Dec. 1.
In other fire department news: Plans are being made to completely outfit all firefighters by the end of next year, Rademacher said. That means an additional 15 sets of gear, estimated to cost about $1,700 per set. Helmets will also be replaced, which are 12 years old.