The ISO moved Walker County Emergency Services to a better grade with its latest inspection, which determines the county’s ability to provide fire protection and water pumping services to all of its extant areas within its borders. A lower number indicates a better rating and provides for homeowner savings on insurance costs as well.
Walker County’s previous ISO rating was a 4/9; its new rating is a 3/8B.
Commissioner Bebe Heiskell congratulated the Walker County emergency services team on its achievement and credited its hard work this past year in upgrading equipment, services and training as being essential to the new rating.
“Walker County Emergency Services is the only rural fire department in the state of Georgia to receive the class 3 rating,” said Walker County coordinator David Ashburn, who praised the many departments who worked together to achieve a better rating.
ISO reviews not only the fire department for response times and staffing but also the 911 dispatch center and the water departments to compile an overall picture of the department’s capability.
“Not only the major input and work that the emergency service personnel did, and the fire rescue,” said Ashburn, “but the road department in doing things to get ready for the fire tower, the new Station 20 that was put in, the Station 19 that was put in, and moving Station 11 outside of the city of LaFayette into the unincorporated area that gave us more points in this overall program.
“The Walker County Water Authority,” he said, “our hat’s off to them because they really put in fire hydrants in strategic areas throughout Walker County, no matter whose water system it was on, in order to be able to get the most points out.
“In the United States, ISO evaluates some 47,242 departments,” said Ashburn. “Within that...1,998 received the class 3 rating. Within the state of Georgia, there are 1,038 departments evaluated by ISO. … Fifty-six, including us, have a class 3. Twenty have a class 2. Nobody has a class 1. So, within the state of Georgia, we’re within the top 76 of our ratings, which is around nine percent of the total number of departments.”
The new ratings will take effect May 1. Homeowners in Walker County can expect to see a savings of between $100 and $500 on their yearly insurance payments, depending upon their exact location within the county, and are encouraged to contact their insurance company for more details.