ANDERSON — For the first time in its history, the Anderson Fire Department has received its highest rating from the Insurance Services Office.
The ISO’s ratings of fire departments around the country are used in determining homeowner insurance premiums.
“An ISO rating is a score provided to fire departments and insurance companies by the Insurance Services Office,” Bankrate.com’s website states. “The score reflects how prepared a community and area is for fires.
“An ISO score has the power to affect the insurance premium of every homeowner in the area and can even cause an insurer to deny coverage in some circumstances,” the website states.
Dave Cravens, AFD chief, said Friday that the new 2 rating will take effect July 1 and remain in effect for up to five years.
“It’s the highest rating ever in the city,” he said. “We have been working on this for about 2½ years.”
Cravens said the department’s score was within a few points of obtaining the highest rating of 1.
The rating is based on training, response time, available water supply and equipment, he said.
Cravens said of the 1,320 fire departments in Indiana, only 33 have an ISO rating of 2 or higher.
The city had a previous score of 3.
“Not only is this a sign of good public safety, but it can help hold down insurance rates, as companies use the rating in determining their rates,” Cravens said. “For firefighters, the ISO rating is like a performance review.”
Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said it has been a goal of Cravens’ to improve the rating for Anderson.
Broderick recognized the efforts of Neal McKee, director of the Anderson Water Department, to continue to work to improve the city’s water supply.
“I am also appreciative of our partnership with the county, (which) now operates our mutual communications dispatch center,” he said. “All of these entities working together have made this possible.”