EBFD improves ISO

Published 11:16 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The East Brewton Fire Department was recently awarded a class three ISO rating, which is good news for citizens and businesses of East Brewton.

The East Brewton Fire Department Fire Chief Joey Shell said a lot goes into the ISO rating, but he is happy for the community of East Brewton.

“I am glad we will be able to reduce the cost of insurance for citizens and businesses of East Brewton,” Shell said. “It took a lot of hard work from a lot of people to make it possible.”

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The scale for the ISO rating is a scale of 1-10, one being the best and 10 being the worst. The EBFD formerly held a five, before improving to a three. Less than 5 percent of U.S. fire departments hold an ISO rating of three or lower.

The ISO rating is used when insurance companies calculate the price of insurance for a home or business owner, and this change for East Brewton will help drastically.

According to Keith Horton, owner of Horton’s Insurance in East Brewton, the difference in prices will vary based on the insurance used, but there is about a 10 percent rate decrease because of the change from a five to a three ISO rating.

The scale is set based on the man power within the fire department, the amount of drills that are performed, response time to calls, classes taken by the firemen, and other factors.

The East Brewton Fire Department consists of Shell, Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Hoomes, firefighters Taylor Cash and Chris Steele, and around 20 volunteers.

“These guys all deserve credit,” Shell said. “Hoomes has worked a lot of long, hard hours. He’s really gone above and beyond the call of duty. Cash and Steele work hard and have their own responsibilities between teaching the classes to volunteers, making sure hydrants are maintained, and testing the hoses and trucks to make sure everything is working properly.”

Shell also gave a lot of credit to the volunteers of the EBFD, who work extremely hard for the community.

“This isn’t possible without them,” Shell said. “Those guys spend nights away from their families drilling, running medical calls and working to make East Brewton the best that it can be. We couldn’t do it without their tireless work.”

Shell said that there is a lot of background work that goes into the EBFD being successful, including the help from Eddie Frazier and the water department, Kenny Brazile and the East Brewton Police Department, and Terry Clark and the City Council for backing them with materials and equipment whenever they needed it.

Terry Clark, the mayor of East Brewton, was pleased with the change and was not surprised by it.

“It is just wonderful for East Brewton,” Clark said. “ There is a lot of people that worked really hard to get that for the citizens here. It’s going to make a big difference for the homeowners and we are happy about that.”

Shell said that the rating is based 50% on the fire department itself, 40% on the water department and 10% on communications provided by the EBPD.

Shell also credited Jeff Salter and the Brewton Fire Department.

“We thank them for all of their assistance over the years with fires and helping with anything we have ever asked of them,” Shell said.

The ISO rating will take effect as of March 1, 2018.