From press and staff reports
Night or day, volunteers with county fire departments drop what they are doing to respond to a fire or a wreck.
Often the volunteers go mostly unnoticed, but their efforts and work can effect home insurance rates. With those insurance rates in mind, the East Winston Fire Department began recently testing water capacity, working with land owners to setup water drafting areas and honing their skills even more.
The importance of Mississippi State Rating Bureau estimation of the fire department is important to property owner’s concerned with the ever-increasing cost of insurance.
Mississippi State Rating Bureau provides statistical information about fire fighting capabilities and provides a rating class of the department which can often effect home insurance rates.
East Winston volunteer Department recently began work to improve their rating and in turn get those in their fire district lower rates.
Ratings are set by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau and are determined by a complex formula. Factors include the water supply available for fire fighting, the fire department (including number of personnel, training, and equipment), the communications system, and the existence of building and fire codes.
On June 13, East Winston volunteers put there water supply and water use skills to the test making sure they could meet state standards prior to a state review.
East Oktibbeha County Fire coordinator Kirk Rosenhan was on hand with his equipment to measure the water capabilities and help the department brush up where it maybe having problems.
Rosenhan works closely with fire departments across the state with training and education to better prepare the fire departments for the Mississippi Rating Bureau review process.
“These fire departments have shown an unbelievable willingness to work together, train together all for the betterment of their communities,” Rosenhan said. “Insurance companies use these ranks to weigh the fire peril.”
Currently all locations in Winston County not in the Louisville Fire Department District are rated Class 10.
East Winston Volunteer Chris Crowson noted that all the hard work by the volunteers was to benefit everyone in the East Winston Fire District as well as the county since other county fire departments may be encouraged to lower their fire rating through the state’s review process.
Crowson also thanked everyone who supported their recent supper fundraiser that will help them reach their goal for lower firing rating.
The department will also hold an upcoming hamburger supper fundraiser.
The department also plans to work with land owners and other fire departments to help make sure the East Winston District can gain the lower fire rating.
“We’re doing what we can do,” Crowson said.
Crowson said the mutual aid between the fire departments also does improve their rankings.
“If we get a call for a structure fire, it’s not just our department that responds. Added personnel improves our fire fighting capability,” he said.
Faulkner said members of the various departments spend hours every year training together to maintain their automatic aid agreements.
“Their communities really need to commend these volunteers for the work they are doing to not only save lives and property, but also to help possibly lower insurance costs,” said Rosenhan.
For more information on fire department ratings visit: www.msratingbureau.com