The Frenchtown Rural Fire District covers about 3,800 homes, and about half could see a drop in their insurance bills after an evaluation by Insurance Services Offices improved FRFD’s public protection classification.
"(ISO) evaluates the fire departments, and they look at a lot of different aspects of, basically, structure fire response,” said Fire Chief Joe Calnan.
He said ISO is a private company hired by insurance companies to gather data. They look at things like the 911 center and its backup communications, fire department staffing, training, what kind of fleet and equipment they have, fire station location and -- most importantly -- water supply.
Calnan says in rural departments like Frenchtown, water is difficult, because there aren’t fire hydrants like in a city.
Before the evaluation change, anyone who lived within 3 road miles of a fire station or credible water source had a 5 classification, while anyone between 3 and 5 miles away had a 9. Any farther than 5 miles and the home gets a 10 classification.