DACUSVILLE—Dacusville Fire Chief Charles Hamilton announced recently that the Dacusville Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a new ISO rating of 5/9.
Records show it has been 26 years since the Department received its first ISO rating of 6/9. Insurance companies use the Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rating to evaluate risk to homeowners and set their premiums. The rating scale ranges from ten (the biggest risk) to one (the least risk).
Dacusville Fire officials say they have worked diligently the last few years to upgrade the ISO rating.
“We’ve just got a great department,” said Fire District Board Chairman Dennis Bauknight. “Our main goal is to protect the lives of the firemen as well as the property owners.”
The improved rating means a reduction in home insurance premiums for homeowners who reside within 5 road miles of the Fire Department. Approximately 90 percent of fire district homes will fall within this range and savings are estimated to be about $50 reduction on home valued at $150,000.
A representative of the ISO, which gives points for meeting certain criteria, conducts an evaluation. Challenges which were met included insuring a better water supply throughout the Fire District, adding more and better firefighting equipment, expanding training for firefighters, updating maps and water source locations, improving call response times, keeping records on training and testing of equipment and firefighters, and establishing a library.
Having a full time paid Fire Chief also helped reduce the rating.
The Dacusville Fire Department has fifty square miles of coverage area and twenty-nine highly trained volunteer firefighters who serve the Fire District. Fourteen of these firefighters also work full time for other area fire departments. The Department averages having nine to 11 volunteers report for each fire call. All the firefighters are dedicated and understand the importance of protecting their neighbors and friends, rural homes and businesses. Community support for the Fire Department continues to be outstanding.
The Dacusville Fire Department has the only Fire Training Facility in Pickens County that is certified by the State Fire Academy. The Training Facility was built by the Dacusville volunteer firefighters. It is available to be utilized by other fire departments for training.
One of the next challenges will be to show the Department can provide water supply for two hours, thus improving their response to more distant areas of the District.
“I’m sure this Fire Department is capable of meeting the challenges of the future,” said Bauknight. “Our outstanding volunteer firefighters, facilities, and equipment are second to none. This community is blessed and we are appreciative of their dedication. This Department is proof that by working together at the grass roots level we are able to insure a better quality of life.”
Affected homeowners should contact their insurance company and/or call the Fire Department at 855-4241.