MONTCALM TOWNSHIP – After six months of waiting, the Montcalm Township Fire Department received a letter stating its ISO rating has been lowered by two points.
In past years, the fire department had the ISO rating of 9 out of 10, which is considered an unrated rating, according to Ron Trachet, chairman of the Montcalm Township Fire Board.
“Having the ISO rating lowered by two points is unheard of,” Trachet said.
The rating is determined through the Public Protection Classification Survey and judges the effectiveness of the fire protection and equipment to protect the community.
Trachet said the drop is significant for the fire department and he is proud of Fire Chief Clif Dickinson who stepped up to the challenge to get the rating lowered.
“It was a lot of work,” Dickinson said. “But it wasn’t just me.”
Dickinson said he received a lot of help from the fire board, township board and community.
“It took a leader to get this done,” said Trachet of Dickinson.
The lower ISO rating affects residents whose insurance company takes the ISO rating into account.
“Communities whose Public Protection Classification improves may get lower insurance prices,” stated the letter sent to the Montcalm Township Hall regarding the ISO rating.
Although one resident has told Trachet and Dickinson they will save more than $150, another, Bill Willison, said he is saving more than $220.
“You should be proud,” said Willison to Trachet and Dickinson.
Not only does the lowering save people money, but firefighters and community members should feel more safe as a result of knowing the quality of the equipment is good, said Willison.
“I am still trying to wrap my head around it,” Trachet said.
Dickinson said most rural fire departments like Montcalm Township, have the ISO rating of 9 out of 10 unless they have fire hydrants.
“I am proud that Montcalm Township is the first and I am proud of what the department has accomplished,” Trachet said. “This has turned into a professional department.”
Residents can pick up a copy of the letter from the fire department to take to their insurance copies to ask about savings.