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September 02, 2014
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Posted: Thursday, May 29th 2014 at 12:05pm

Insurance rates may drop for some Gainesville residents thanks to new ISO rating

By Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough
GAINESVILLE - Gainesville City Council members learned at a work session Thursday morning that the Gainesville Fire Department will officially attain an ISO (Insurance Services Office) One Classification on October 1, 2014.

"Gainesville is now one of only two Class One ISO Departments in the State of Georgia, sharing this honor with Macon-Bibb County," said City Manager Kip Padgett.

"This achievement shows a commitment to public protection that is second to none. This is a great example of departmental and intergovernmental cooperation. Both past and present employees of these three departments are to be commended," said Padgett.

"To sum it up, this ISO Class 1 represents superior property fire protection," Padgett added.

In order to attain the new ISO ranking, the City was evaluated in four areas - communications, fire department, water supply and community risk reduction.

Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough says the new classification is the result of planned improvement in several categories.

"We converted our pre-plan inspections from paper to ipad which greatly increased the number of inspections we can conduct. We increased the number of on-duty personnel through the Safer Grant to 25 per shift. We increased our reserve truck capacity and our training hours. And, we stepped up our efforts in fire prevention which was added as a new part of the criteria," said Chief Yarbrough.

The ISO protection class rating is rated with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst. The Gainesville Fire Department is 1 of 2 Class I Fire Departments in Georgia and 1 of 60 nationwide.

Yarbrough was asked by the Council if the new classification would lead to lower fire insurance premiums for business and homeowners in the City.

"Each individual insurance agent is different in how they grade and what they allow. So it would be up to each individual insurance agency to assess what the savings (are)," Yarbrough said. "But I think it would be some benefit to the residential, and commercial property, here in Gainesville."

Longtime City Council member (1969) Bob Hamrick agreed. "It will reflect, in my opinion, a significant savings in insurance premiums."



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