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Clanton hopes to lower ISO rating

The Clanton Fire Department hopes to achieve a lower ISO rating as the result of an inspection this week.

On March 30 and 31, the Insurance Services Office evaluated the department’s equipment and manpower, the city of Clanton’s water system and the Chilton County E-911 system.

A fire department’s ISO rating is used by insurance companies to help determine homeowner’s insurance premiums.

“I’m hoping the rating will drop. I just don’t know by how much,” Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said. “I feel like the fire department portion [of the evaluation] scored high.”

The Clanton Fire Department currently has a rating of 6. Departments are graded on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the best coverage.

Driver said the last time Clanton was evaluated was in 1988. It is recommended that evaluations be done every seven to 10 years.

Several recent additions should help the department score well, Driver said.

“The ladder truck was huge in what they look for,” he said, referring to the ladder truck that went into service in August 2009.

A ladder truck is recommended for fire departments with three or more three-story buildings within their coverage area. Buildings that require 3,500 gallons-per-minute of fire flow also fall into that category. Required fire flow is determined by a building’s square footage and other factors.

Other improvements that helped were the addition of new fire hydrants and the completion of a second fire station in south Clanton. Driver said there are currently 469 hydrants in city limits.

Overall, the fire department accounts for 50 percent of the score, along with the water system (40 percent) and E-911 (10 percent).

Driver thanked the mayor, council and department heads who were instrumental in recent improvements.

“We should know the results within about six months,” he said.