North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue improves ISO rating - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue improves ISO rating

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue has improved on a survey evaluating its fire and rescue services, moving from a Class 3 to a Class 2 in the Insurance Services Office Public Protection Classification Survey.

The agency received the survey back in February. The survey evaluates all aspects of the department’s fire rescue services, as well as the water supply services provided by North Myrtle Beach, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the highest.

Effective October 1, 2015, NMB Fire Rescue will be reclassified to the improved ISO Class 2 status.

“This is great news for our Department and the public we serve,” a department official stated on Facebook. “Thanks to all with the Department of Public Safety, Public Works, and other City Officials involved in the preparation for this survey as well as to Mayor Hatley, our City Council Members, and City Manager Mahaney on the support since our last ISO survey in working to improve our fire department operations and services.”

A community’s ISO rating can impact the home insurance rates for residents. WMBF News investigated how these ratings could affect your rates, and while insurance companies would not say exactly how much these ratings affect insurance rates, one resident’s rates jumped $3,000 when their community went from an ISO-5 to an ISO-10.

There are currently just five communities in South Carolina that have an ISO Class 1 rating, 48 with a Class 2 rating, and 82 with a Class 3 rating. The majority of communities in the state have either an ISO-4 or ISO-5: 162 and 161 communities, respectively. This information comes from ISOMitigation.com, the website for the Insurance Services Office, the company that determines ISO ratings.

Fire Chief Gary Spain said with continual training and support from the city, his department will continue to strive to obtain an ISO Class 1 rating.

In addition to training and new equipment, that mission also includes adding two new fire stations within city limits. Currently, plans are underway to build two new buildings in areas where developers may plan to build new housing tracts.

“We strive to be proactive instead of reactive,” Chief Spain said as he explained the department works to get ahead of the ever-growing population in North Myrtle Beach.

The strategy in placing those stations takes into account the density of buildings, traffic patterns and speed limits. The department strives to keep a 3-5 minute response time.

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