Hernando County Fire Rescue (HCFR) has earned the second highest-possible rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), a distinction that may qualify homeowners and businesses for lower property insurance premiums.

On a scale from Class 1 to 10, the HCFR received a Class 2/2Y rating in ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program. This score is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the fire department organization, staffing, training and equipment in relation to National Fire Protection Association standards; community risk reduction including fire prevention education and fire code enforcement; water supply capacity and maintenance for firefighting purposes including rural strategies; and emergency communications system infrastructure, response protocols and dispatcher training. This classification reflects the relative low risk of fire losses in both developed and rural areas of the county when compared to other localities across the nation.“Protecting residents and their homes and businesses is the highest priority of Hernando County,”

County Administrator Len Sossamon said. “This Class 2 rating from the Insurance Services Office is great news for our entire community. It reflects our quality of life, our commitment to excellence in public safety and our drive to build a stronger county as we continue to grow.”

This rating covers only those areas of the county with primary fire protection provided by HCFR. It does not apply to those areas protected by Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department nor the City of Brooksville Fire Department. HCFR previously held a Class 3 rating. The improved rating could help reduce individual costs for property insurance because insurance companies use ISO or similar classification services to establish their rates. Insurance companies have found a correlation between a community’s investment in fire protection and future fire losses. In general, that means property owners in areas with better ISO ratings represent a lower risk and therefore qualify for lower insurance rates.

The rate will go into effect December 1, 2015. ISO has reviewed 48,855 communities and fire districts across the United States. Only 1,014 have earned a Class 2 rating or better, putting HCFR in the top two percent in the United States. In Florida, 98 out of 614 communities and fire districts hold a Class 2 rating or better placing HCFR in the top 16 percent statewide.

“Fire Rescue takes great pride in helping Hernando County achieve this high rating from the Insurance Services Office,” Fire Chief Scott Hechler said. “This accomplishment reflects the training, professionalism and commitment of the men and women of our department and the support we receive from the community, including the Board of County Commissioners, other county leaders and, especially, our residents. It also reflects the hard work and dedication of our partners in the Utilities Department and the Emergency Communications Center of the Sheriff’s Office.”

HCFR provides fire protection, emergency medical services and other special emergency response services such as hazardous materials and technical rescue from an all-hazards perspective. The department operates 13 firehouses across the county’s 475.5 square miles. Each station is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, with an advanced life support capable fire engine crew of three firefighters. HCFR also staffs 11 ALS ambulances 24 hours per day and one during peak call demand periods on weekdays. In fiscal year 2015, the department responded to more than 28,000 calls for service. Finally, HCFR is supported by a modern emergency communications system, with enhanced 911 capabilities and computer-aided dispatch facilities, plus an extensive water-distribution system that includes nearly 4,000 hydrants that are inspected and maintained by HCFR personnel.

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Please contact HCFR at (352) 540-4353 to learn more about this ISO Public Protection Classification Program rating.

Lower Insurance Rates for Hernando County? Hernando County Fire Rescue District earns improved rating from Insurance Services Office