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Insurance rating reduction may mean reduced fire insurance rates for residents.

Residents of the Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue Fire District may see reduced fire insurance rates as a result of a recently completed survey by the Insurance Services Office.

ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators and others by providing information about risk. ISO has evaluated and classified more than 46,000 fire protection areas across the United States utilizing a standardized fire suppression rating schedule.

ISO assigns a public protection classification rating to fire departments on a scale from 1 to 10. A 1 is the best rating possible, with only 241 departments in the country achieving that rating. A rating of 10 indicates the department does not meet the minimum criteria for recognition or may have areas of the fire district where homes are located more than 5 miles from a fire station.

The district received a new rating of 8B/10. That means that all residents within 5 miles of the fire station will receive the lower ISO rating.

"The district's ISO rating is a large determinant in the amount of property insurance premiums our residents have to pay," explained Colfels.

"The new fire station, along with our new tender and pumper, made it possible for the lower rating. This upgrade will impact every resident that lives within 5 miles of a fire station."

The district is continuing to work on improving its ISO class and has already begun work to apply for a lower rating again this fall.

"We hope to lower it to a class 6 or 7 by utilizing a new pump station, larger fill ports on the tenders and a fill pump apparatus and improved fill sites," said Colfels. "We must prove to ISO that we can maintain required fire flows, 250 gallon per minute (30,000 gallons), for two hours anywhere within our district boundaries, utilizing water shuttle operations and static water sources."

The new classification is effective Nov. 1. Contact Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue at 541-629-8911, for answers to specific questions and for address verification.

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