By Jeff Shultz
The firefighter’s sales tax passed three years ago has already begun to pay dividends to county residents, as several towns’ ISO ratings have been lowered thanks to firefighting equipment purchased by various county fire departments.
The ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating determines how much insurance companies will charge a specific community for property insurance based on the rating the fire department receives.
“We’ve been seeing the ISO rating for each town in Garvin County go down in the three years we’ve been collecting the (firefighter’s) sales tax,” said Garvin County Emergency Management Director Bud Ramming.
“We really didn’t think we’d see any drop in the ratings until the five year mark. So, we’re running ahead of schedule,” he added.
County fire departments have already spent thousands of dollars on new equipment and facility upgrades that have made a positive impact on each community’s ISO rating.
Just this past Monday, August 3, the Garvin County Commissioners approved two new purchases for the Rush Creek and Paoli Fire Departments.
Rush Creek accepted a bid for a Wildland Brush/First Attack Fire Truck, which is a mini pumper truck to be used on structure and grass fires.
The bid was for $153,707.
The Paoli Fire Department is currently upgrading their fire station to include all LED lights and the purchase of a small ice machine to provide ice for the firefighters when they go out on fires.