HIGH SPRINGS – An inspection of the High Springs Fire Department and city utilities took place Aug. 19 by Insurance Services Office, Inc. The ISO rating determines how property owners’ insurance companies decide how much each property owner owes each year for coverage. In this case, a lower number means a better score.

Based on his discussion with the ISO inspector, City Manager Ed Booth said it appears that the High Springs Fire Department may have improved their ISO rating from a six to a five. If that is true, homeowner’s insurance rates may go down.

The assessment looks at not only the fire department and its ability to fight a fire, but also the city’s ability to provide enough water and water pressure with which to fight fires. The rating goes from one to 10, with one being the best.

Fire Chief Bruce Gillingham said he was cautiously optimistic as he explained in a subsequent interview that the inspector forwarded his assessment information to the New Jersey office of Versk, the parent company for ISO. ISO developed the system to establish a standard risk assessment for all fire departments and aid insurance companies in understanding their risk potential.

“It will be another 45 days before we know officially whether we have achieved an improved score,” Gillingham said. “Their people have to plug in all the numbers and determine how things fall out before they will give us an official statement.”

Gillingham expects that whatever notification the city receives will list the reasons for improvement, if they determine there is improvement in their number score, and will also list areas that need additional attention for future improvement.

#     #     #

Email Cwalker@