FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Florence Fire Department recently received a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office.
It’s the highest rating a department can achieve. The ISO controls insurance rates for surrounding commercial and residential properties, and scores department’s based on their response times, personnel, and station locations, among other things.
Even with a class 1 rating, Chief Shannon Tanner said they noticed areas they could improve.
“We have a response standard of five minutes per 90% of the calls, now with the current annexation and the way it’s been, there’s some pockets where it’s very difficult to achieve that,” said Tanner.
The city of Florence is investing roughly $5.5 million into two new fire stations.
Fire Station No. 4 is being relocated from its current home on West Palmetto Street to a new facility on Jody Road. While the department is adding a sixth station on Smith Drive.
“It’s going to push us out towards the mall area, and all the way down to Highway 76 and Interstate 95, so in those areas it’s going to increase our response time versus coming from here,” said Tanner.
Tanner said the additional fire station will also create new opportunities.
“Of course that’s going to add more firefighters which in turn is going to add more officers, so you’re going to have captains at different stations move up and so it creates a lot of movement,” said Tanner.
While the Class 1 rating from the ISO is a major achievement, Tanner said the goal is to make sure it’s maintained. He believes these projects will go a long way in helping them better serve the community.
“It’s something you don’t just achieve and then stop, and as the city grows we’ve been fortunate enough that our council and mayor have seen the need to expand as the city expands and this is certainly going to help us out tremendously,” said Tanner.
The stations are expected to be complete by Dec. 2021.