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Posted: 07/16/08

Addison Fire Department
improves protection rating

      The Addison Township Fire Department has announced a significant improvement in the department's ability to serve the community.
       The Insurance Service Office has reclassified the department's Public Protection Classification from a class 9 to a class 5 in Addison Township and from a class 9 to a class 3 in the Village of Leonard.
       The Public Protection Classification (PPC) is used by ISO to determine the level of fire protection available in communities throughout the country. A PPC rating of 10 indicates no fire protection with a PPC rating of 1 being the best fire protection available.
       Leonard's classification change is the largest one-time improvement in Michigan history.
       In most communities, the PPC rating is an evaluation of the fire department (50 percent), the water supply system (40 percent), and the communication center (10 percent). However, in Addison and Leonard, there is no municipal water supply system. So, the fire department challenged the "fire department supply" portion of the rating schedule which allows for dry hydrants, tanker trucks, ponds, lakes and streams to take the place of a municipal water system as long as the department can "demonstrate" for ISO that the water can be provided. Under the Fire Department Supply (FDS), Addison fire became responsible for 90 percent of the PPC score.
       What does all this mean? Insurance companies use fire departments PPC as the framework to build insurance premiums for homes and businesses. The lower the PPC number, the less people pay for insurance.
       Steve Craft from the Craft incsurance Agency in Clarkston said, "A drop in the town class (PPC) from a 9 to a 5 will save the average homeowner $200 to $400 a year in premiums on average." With more than 2,300 households in the fire district, the potential savings could be considerable, possibly as much as $400,000 to $500,000 per year."
       Using the FDS portion of the schedule, the Village of Leonard's PPC of 3 is the best rating in the state of Michigan. Addison Township's class rating of 5 is one of approximately a dozen departments in the state with a class 5 FDS rating or better.
       "This is the result of five years of preparation, training and a lot of hard work from every member of the fire department," said Fire Chief George Spencer. "The most challenging part of the review was proving the water supply requirements. The crew trained for this evaluation for almost a year, laid over 48,000 feet of hose and pumped close to half a million gallons of water all in preparation for a one time `do or die' tank truck and hose lay evaluation for the ISO field representative.
       "When tested on Nov. 7 and 8, 2007 the crew performed flawlessly; the results where better than anyone could have hoped," added Spencer.

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