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Fort Oglethorpe receives improved fire protection rating

December 29, 2018

The Fort Oglethorpe Fire Department recently received its best fire protection rating in recent memory from an insurance industry advisory company.

Chief Bruce Ballew says he was notified of the new rating in late November and he shared the information with the City Council during its Dec. 10 meeting.

“On Nov. 19, the city received a letter thanking Mayor Earl Gray and the Fire Department for their help in the public protection classification survey.”

Ballew explained that Insurance Services Offices Inc. (ISO) completed analysis of the structural fire suppression delivery systems provided in the community.

“The results are that our Public Protection Classification (PPC) went from a 3/9 to a 3/3x effective March 1, 2019,” Ballew said.

The ISO’s Public Protection Classification review includes site visits, records examination and observations as officials evaluate fire department operations, water supply, emergency communications, and community risk reduction.

ISO officials analyze the data and then assign a PPC classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

Ballew says the new rating is the best he’s seen during his time on the job.

“This is the best grade we’ve ever seen in my tenure, 50-plus years as a firefighter,” Ballew said. “We lacked just a small amount of points in getting a 2.”

The better PPC rating means the city could be looking at lower fire insurance premiums in the future.

Ballew said the City Council support has gone a long way in helping the department improve its rating.

“We appreciate the council and everything they’ve done for us because without y’all, we couldn’t achieve this,” Ballew said.

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