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Tallassee's Fire Training Center

Good ISO reports for Tallassee, Friendship

By Michael Butler

The Insurance Service Office ratings are in. And for Tallassee and Friendship, the scores are good.

The ISO Public Protection Classification for the neighboring fire departments are Class 3, something both department heads are pleased to see.

"The results speak volumes about both departments," TFD chief Travis Jones said. "Friendship Fire Department was able to lower its current rating of Class 4 to a Class 3, while Tallassee Fire Department maintained its current Class 3 rating and gained points in that category scoring very close to a Class 2."

Nationwide, there were only 3,490 departments with an equal rating.

"The number that stands out to me the most is," Cooper added, "there are 1,597 Class 2 and 348 Class 1, which means there's only 1,945 departments in the country that are rated better. We're looking at about 25,000 below us."

Jones has 26 years with the Tallassee Fire Department. This is Cooper's 15th year with Friendship.

"When Friendship Fire Department started in the '80s, I believe they were a Class 10," Cooper noted. "Steve Dennis said they could do better. They got tested again in the late '80s and went to a Class 5. We weren't tested again until five years ago and became a Class 4, which we thought was phenomenal. That is very good for a volunteer fire department."

The improvement to a Class 3 for Friendship should mean insurance savings for the community it serves.

"Going from a 4 to a 3, our residents probably won't see much of a change," Cooper said. "The difference in a 10, which our Ware Community is paying, and a 3 if we're able to put a station out there is (significant). One customer said he would save $640 a year for 20-year-old, 1,700 - 1,800 square foot house."

Cooper thanked Jones and TFD assistant chief David Rogers for their cooperation with the ISO process.

"Tallassee and Friendship Fire Departments share a unique relationship when it comes to fire departments providing aid to one another," Jones said. "While each department operates independently, watching them train and operate on an emergency scene it’s hard to tell who is who. Both Chief Cooper and I believe this is because of the strong bond between the two departments.

"Since our last evaluation in 2013, we both agreed we can do better. This took commitment by each department's members to put in the work for training and answering calls. Over the past few years Tallassee and Friendship Fire Departments spent nearly every Tuesday conducting training together which is a category in which the departments are graded."

ISO uses the public protection classification in the underwriting process at insurance companies.

"We urge each homeowner to contact their agent to find out what these scores can save you on your annual premium," Jones stated. "The classifications are effective Aug. 1, 2019."

Tallassee and Friendship were among multiple agencies of aid during the May 5, 2016 mill fire.