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Newton County's ISO rating improves to 5/9

COVINGTON -- Newton County Fire Service has recently been notified that the county's Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating has improved, meaning more Newton County citizens are in less danger thanks to improved services from NCSS, the Covington/Newton County 911 Dispatch Center and Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority. The previous rating of Class 6/9 was given in 1994 and the new rating has dropped to Class 5/9, according to NCFS Chief Kevin O'Brien.

"An ISO rating plays an important role in the underwriting process for insurance companies," O'Brien explained. "Each insurance company independently determines its premium for policy holders and an improvement in our community classification may result in reduced premiums."

The new community classification of 5/9 will go into effect Sept. 1, and O'Brien said questions about insurance premiums should be addressed to individual providers.

The ISO collects and evaluates information to determine fire suppression capabilities and includes an extensive evaluation of each community's ire department, 911 center and water system.

"Each category is given a point value and there are measurable objectives that must be met to earn overall points," O'Brien said, adding that the 911 center accounted for 10 points, the water system for 40 points and the fire department for 50 points.

"I am proud to announce that Newton County Fire just received notification that we have now improved or dropped to a Class 5/9. This split rating is reflective of residents who either do or do not live within 1,000 feet and 5 road miles of a fire station," O'Brien stated. "This improvement in our score is a testament to our department, its members, our community and our county who have all shown a dedication to providing a professional level of service and fire protection to our community."

NCFS was evaluated on training records, staffing, hydrant servicing, pump testing, apparatus operator training, hose testing, company drills, officer training, ladder testing, hazardous material training, equipment inventory, pre-fire plans/inspections, station distribution, recruit training programs, engine company credits, ladder company credit and service company credit.

"I was very impressed with all of the hard work of those involved in our ISO inspection and the months of work leading up to the event," O'Brien said. "Newton County should be proud of their fire department and those departments who make our job a success."

Anyone with questions about the ISO rating or services provided by NCFS is asked to contact O'Brien at 678-625-5010.