Columbia, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi State Rating Bureau gave the Columbia Fire Department a class 5 rating, which became effective on May 3.
This means better fire protection and lower insurance premiums for those who live in the community.
The Mississippi State Rating Bureau rates fire district protection on a 1-10 protection rating system, with a Class 1 being the best.
“The ratings bureau is going to send a letter to each of the insurance companies notifying them of the new rating,” said Fire Chief Jeff McKenzie. “So, hopefully people’s insurance will get a little lower.”
Assistant Chief Lyle Berard said this is a huge milestone for the department, but it took a lot of work getting there.
“The main thing has been the water,” said Berard. "Getting out here and flushing hydrants, properly flowing and marking them, making upgrades to the water lines and adding hydrants throughout the city so we can better serve the citizens.
McKenzie said while he’s satisfied with the current rating, his goal is to get the department to a class 4 rating. However, there’s a few things the department must do first.
“We’re going to have to add more man power, another truck, hopefully a ladder truck,” said McKenzie. “Depending on how much what the rating bureau says, maybe another station one day.”
McKenzie said right now these are only goals but he hopes to one day make them a reality.