Rural fire department rated one of the safest in the country - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Rural fire department rated one of the safest in the country

(Source: Live 5 News) (Source: Live 5 News)

The Awendaw McClellanville Fire District is one of the safest in the country, according to fire chief Tommy Norris.

"For a rural fire department to achieve ISO rating of four is a tremendous achievement for us."

Fire departments are rated on a scale of one to 10. Class 1 is the best rating. The lower the rating, the cheaper the home insurance costs.

"We do a lot with a little, and it's going to mean typically for a typical homeowner, based upon which insurance company and exactly where they live, their insurance premiums should see a reduction of anywhere from five to ten percent," explains Norris.

The Insurance Services Office or ISO grades fire departments in many areas such as their ability to deliver water, staffing and number of stations. The Public Protection Classification or PPC rating is passed on to insurance companies who establish property insurance premiums.

The Awendaw McClellanville Fire District was last reviewed 10 years ago, earning a Class 6 rating then. Norris credits his staff of 53 with improving their six stations, bringing them up to Class 4.

"We had to improve upon our training, our record keeping, our ability to carry water since we're in an area that typically does not have many fire hydrants."

The new rating will go into effect on April 1.

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