Improved East Manatee Fire Rescue District rating results in potential savings to homeowners.
Residents of the East Manatee Fire Rescue District may see improved insurance rates thanks to changes at the East Manatee Fire Rescue District.
The Insurance Services Office, which rates fire districts, has improved East Manatee's Public Protection Classification to a "3" from a "4." A "1" is the highest classification available. The ISO rating of a fire department is used to help determine property insurance premiums for owners within that jurisdiction.
The change goes into effect Nov. 1, and property owners can check with their respective homeowners insurance providers to see how the new rates affect their insurance costs.
"By increasing our staffing, building a training tower and adding a second ladder truck to our fleet over the last three years — all improvements we needed to do anyway — we were able to lower our ISO rating," East Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Lee Whitehurst said in a press release.
He said homes within five road miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a pressurized fire hydrant will enjoy the benefits of the new grade. Whitehurst said if there is not a fire hydrant within 1,000 feet, then grade is "3X," indicating no pressurized water supply. However, if properties are outside the 5-mile road requirement, regardless of hydrants, they receive the lowest classification.
Whitehurst said that is why East Manatee has been proactive in building fire stations to stay ahead of growth. It is building Station 7 on Covenant Way now. Construction of Station 8, located off State Road 70 near Panther Ridge, will be next.
If the Myakka City Fire Rescue merges with East Manatee Fire Rescue in 2021 as proposed, Myakka residents also would inherit the improved score, Whitehurst said.