Insurance rates lowered in Dacusville Fire District

DACUSVILLE — Dacusville Fire Chief Charles Hamilton has announced the Dacusville Volunteer Fire Department was recently 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 10 (the biggest risk) to one (the least risk).

The Dacusville Fire Department has worked diligently for the last few years to upgrade their ISO rating. The improved rating means a reduction in home insurance premiums for homeowners who reside within five 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. Affected homeowners should contact their insurance company and/or call the Fire Department at 855-4241.

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 50 square miles of coverage area and 29 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 9-11 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.

The Dacusville Fire Department pledges to continue working to improve their ISO rating so that everyone in the fire district may realize benefits. For example, 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,” board chairman Dennis Bauknight said. “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 grassroots level we are able to insure a better quality of life.”