Red, White and Blue Fire receives improved insurance rating |

Red, White and Blue Fire receives improved insurance rating

During a recent evaluation by Insurance Services Offices, Breckenridge’s Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District improved from a class 4/9 rating to a class 2/2X rating. The changed rating was based on an assessment of the district’s delivery system for structural fire suppression, and could potentially lead to lower insurance premiums for homeowners this summer.

“I’m really proud of our department,” Red, White and Blue Fire chief Keating said in a statement. “This process takes dedication and hard work of our personnel to have this organization operating at such a high standard.”

On a scale from 1 to 10, a class 1 rating indicates exemplary community fire suppression, while a 10 means the district met none of the minimum criteria. The first number in the designation, 2, applies to properties within 5 miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. The second number, 2X, applies to properties within 5 miles of a fire station but beyond 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant.

“With two new pieces of apparatus bringing water, two tenders that can each carry 2,000 gallons of water, we made a significant difference in the rural part of the rewriting,” Keating said.

He added that the upgrades in equipment, training, prevention and education stemmed from when the department became nationally accredited three years ago.

Of the 48,000 evaluated fire protection areas across the U.S., only 917 departments qualified for a class 2 ranking, and just 97 qualified for a class 1 ranking. Most of these departments are larger than Red, White and Blue, and are funded by other sources than appraised property value.

“This has been extremely important as the property values plummeted and have been slow to rebound, which resulted in limited resources,” Keating said. “Red, White and Blue was able to achieve this much improved rating through hard work and sound management practices.”

Keating said properties close to fire hydrants may see more immediate savings on insurance premiums than rural residents. However, he hopes the new water tenders, trucks capable of moving large amounts of water, will lead to future rating increases.

“It will vary from insurance company to insurance company, but this will have a pretty significant effect on fire insurance rates,” Keating said. He expects commercial and retail type properties will see the greatest benefits.

Starting July 1, home and business owners may contact their insurance carriers to see whether the improved ratings will affect insurance rates on their properties.

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