At the work session of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, Fire Chief Tim Prather presented the results of the recent Insurance Services Office (ISO) review. The Fire Department review was conducted earlier this year. Chief Prather admitted that he was concerned with the anticipated results, but at the end of the day, the results were good. Near the end of this year, Cherokee County will lose is current Pubic Protection Class 3-3Y. Chief Prather is proud to announce that effective December 1, 2018, the new PPC will be Class-2/2Y! Prather emphasized that the credit for this success is to be given to his entire department. “It took each and everyone one of us working together and doing our part to reach this accomplishment. This is huge and history making for Cherokee County Fire,” stated Prather.
“This has been a continuing process since I became Fire Chief in 2011. That year, we obtained a county wide Class-5/9 which eliminated three separate ISO ratings throughout the county. After a review in 2014, we improved to a Class-3/3Y. It will be important for us to continue to keep up with the growth of this county to maintain this new PPC and hopefully in the future improve another step,” added Prather. The ISO schedules to review all fire departments every three years. In general, the ISO has a classification system of Class-1 through Class-10. Class-10 is basically an area where fire suppression capabilities do not meet any kind of minimum requirement of ISO whereas as the Class-1 is the best rating that can be achieved. There are approximately 46,000 fire departments in the United States. Approximately 242 departments have achieved the Class-1 Status and just over 1,325 departments have obtained a Class-2. Cherokee County Fire now ranks in the top 4% of Fire Departments nationwide.
As a result of this change, Chief Prather recommends that property owners check with their perspective insurance agents to determine if there will be any significant change with their insurance rates. Most all of the insurance companies have their own specific process in determining rates. So in short, an ISO classification is not the sole source in determining rates. But, I do believe it is large part of a calculation with most companies. It is notable to mention that current property owners that were being provided service by Cherokee County will see the change from Class-3 to Class-2. With the current consolidation of fire services with the City of Canton, the city residents will see a change from Class-4 to Class-2 which could mean a larger difference. Again, this can only be determined by contacting your insurance agent.
This type of success cannot be obtained without the support of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, County Manager and the citizens of Cherokee County. On behalf of Fire Chief Tim Prather and all personnel of Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services, we greatly thank you for that support.