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New ISO ratings impact 15K

Three Escambia County communities serving some 15,000 residents will see a break on their homeowners insurance premiums in September.

Michael Tyler, president of the Escambia County Association of Fire Departments, said Monday the Insurance Services Office (ISO) recently notified officials in Appleton, McCall and Nokomis that their volunteer fire departments and water systems had greatly improved fire protection class ratings, or ISO ratings, for the communities. The reduction in premiums is also applicable to business owners in the areas, Tyler said.

In Appleton, the rating decreased from a “7” to a “6;” in McCall from a “6” to a “5” and in Nokomis from a “7” to a “5.”

As a comparison, a “5” is normally achieved by the larger municipal fire departments, Tyler said.

The new ratings go into effect Sept. 1, and improvements in the Appleton and McCall communities will allow a “tie in” to Brewton, meaning that the new ratings will also impact some inside the Brewton city limits.

“The superior ratings awarded to these departments are the result of countless hours, days, and even years of hard work, accredited fire training, and hosting fund-raising events that are required to purchase and maintain reliable fire equipment, while outfitting department volunteers with appropriate fire safety gear,” Tyler said. “It just goes to show that the entire county is doing an awful lot to protect lives and property.”

McCall Fire Chief Charles Jackson said, “In my 30 years, I’ve never known anyone to drop two numbers like Nokomis did. It’s tremendous work by everyone – in Appleton, McCall and Nokomis – that allowed such a tremendous achievement.”

There are currently 24 fire departments in Escambia County Alabama and 19 of these departments are all-volunteer fire and EMS organizations.