Babbie VFD improves ISO rating

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Babbie Volunteer Fire Department has joined the growing list of county departments to receive better marks on this year’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) ranking.

Babbie Fire Chief Chris Short said the department’s ranking dropped from a 7/9 score 10 years ago to a 5/5x in 2014, a significant improvement that will likely translate into lower insurance rates for Babbie homeowners.

ISO monitors fire departments’ abilities to respond to emergencies, as well as infrastructure, water departments and many other agencies that factor into an area’s overall safety. ISO then rates the overall safety of an area on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the safest and 10 the most unsafe.

Short credited improved equipment and better training for the lower score.

“We’ve upgraded equipment, plus we’ve stepped up our training,” Short said. “We had a lot more training hours on this check than we did ten years ago.”

Short said new equipment, as well as improvements to older equipment, also allows for the department to function on a higher level.

“ We’ve upgraded our equipment twice over the last 10 years,” he said. “We’ve had our tanker rechassied; we’ve updated our tanker; got a new pumper tanker; and got a new quick-attack truck.”

Short said the new ranking will take effect July 1 and locals should expect to see an immediate drop in insurance rates.

“It will definitely drop your home-owners insurance,” he said. “People just need to contact their insurance providers.”