By jeanne starmack
The city is awaiting word on whether a review by an Insurance Services Office inspector will result in a more favorable rating on fire services.
An improvement in the ISO rating, which is now at the lowest point, a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, would mean lower insurance rates for home and business owners in the city.
The rating fell from a 6 to a 10 two years ago, and many residents have seen their insurance rates go up significantly. Fire Chief Nick Herlec has been addressing the problems that led to the ratings drop, including a lack of training records and manpower.
There were not enough firefighters in the city’s five-man department to ensure four on a call. Training wasn’t being done because the firefighters train as a unit, and there weren’t enough of them to attend sessions, Herlec has said.
Since the rating fell, however, the city has added volunteer firefighters.
Herlechas accumulated the required six months’ worth of training records, he said.
Herlec said Wednesday that ISO reviewer Thomas Rampe visited the city Sept. 19 and noted there are a lot of improvements, including a new 75-foot ladder truck the department got in January with the help of a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.
“He went over training records and call logs,” Herlec said, adding that Rampe indicated the city should hear from him in December.
Not everyone who has faced an increase in insurance rates has been stuck with it. Not all insurance companies base their rates on ISO reviews.
Mayor Bill VanSuch said his insurance went from $800 to $2,200 a year. He switched companies and ended up saving money.