Gassville, Ark. ISO rating drops from a 4 to a 2

GASSVILLE, Ark. -- Gassville's Volunteer Fire Department of 20 volunteers and a chief know their small crew now stands as one in only 20 across the U.S. can.

"It's a source of pride for us," said Fire Chief Michael Glotzl.

The department just learned its ISO rating dropped from 4 points to 2. Only five percent of all fire departments, full-time and volunteer, are at that level.

"It also means your taxpayer dollars are hard at work, and it's paying off for you," Glotzl said.

On a scale from 1 to 10, the lower the number the better. The chief said a department's ISO measures how quickly and efficiently a department can put out a fire.

"They measure everything from the equipment that is on our engine and on our vehicles," Glotzl said. "They want to see how many firefighters actually are showing up to structure fires. They want to see training records."

Lowering the rating meant involving everyone. The department taught people what to do in case of an emergency.

"Prevention and code enforcement is an aspect of that. Our ability to educate the public," Glotzl said.

The mayor considers this good news for people who live in town and their insurance rates.

"Some, if not all, should see a reduction in premium," said Mayor Jeff Braim.

That's because the more effective the fire department, the less damage the fire can cause.

"This is proven statistically. So people's insurance, their fire insurance is going to go down," Glotzl said.

But the pride of a city whose fire department has been around for decades is definitely going up.

"This is a testament of time, from the inception of the department to where we're at now. And I'm very proud of our department. Thankful for each and every one that answers the call for us," Braim said.

If you live in the city you should start seeing a change in your insurance after April 1.

On February 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the community center, there will be a reception for former and past members of the fire department and local leaders to celebrate the ISO rating going down to a Class 2.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.