Fire department insurance rating improves

MILFORD – The fire department’s new insurance ratings could mean savings for Milford’s homeowners and business people.

On April 1, the Milford Fire Department’s new Insurance Services Office ratings go into effect. The ISO rates fire departments on a scale of one to 10, with one being the highest, and Milford’s new ratings make it one of the highest rated departments in the state, fire officials say.

The town’s rating for its “hydrant district” – the central part of town with fire hydrants – is going from four, which is a common rating, to three, which puts Milford in the top 10 in the state.

The rating also means Milford’s fire department is comparable to a full-time career department, said Milford Fire Capt. Jason Smedick.

Milford has a full-time salaried chief, but it is staffed by volunteers.

In Milford’s non-
hydrant outlying areas, the rating went from nine to four. That means the department could be the highest rated community in the state for a non-
hydrant district.

The department worked for two years to achieve the ratings and demonstrated its proficiency last year at a drill at the industrial area between Meadowbrook Drive and Scarborough Lane witnessed by an ISO representative.

There are no hydrants, so firefighters used water from a pond and porta-tanks and the department’s new Engine 4 to transport about 850 gallons per minute over a two-hour period.

“We truly exceeded expectations,” said Smedick, who called the new ratings a “phenomenal accomplishment that took enormous team effort,” and that is going to help both homeowners and businesses.

Each insurance agency is different, so it isn’t possible to predict the savings, he said, but “we want people to have conversations with their insurance carriers. It could save them money year after year.”

ISO helps establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties through its classification program for communities’ fire-protection services.