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Fire chief: Bardstown’s fire protection rating has improved from a ‘5’ to a ‘3’

From left, Lt. Scott Lawson and Fire Chief Billy Mattingly discuss the city’s improved fire protection rating at a Tuesday press conference following a survey by the Insurance Service Office.

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 — Bardstown residents may see a decrease in the fire protection portion of their homeowner’s insurance following the city’s most recent survey by the Insurance Service Office (ISO).

The ISO survey examines a fire department’s ability to fight fires, as well as the infrastructure in the community that supports the fire department.

In the most recent ISO survey, the rating dropped from a “5” to a “3,” a change that Bardstown Fire Chief Billy Mattingly said was “significant.”

Mattingly and Lt. Scott Lawson held a press conference Tuesday just before noon to discuss the city receiving the improved ISO fire service rating.

The new rating should result in lower insurance rates, though the impact will vary by policy and by insurance carrier. For example, some insurance carriers — like State Farm — does not use ISO rating in calculating insurance rates.

BARDSTOWN FIRE CHIEF BILLY MATTINGLY.

There are many components examined as part of the process of reviewing a community’s ISO rating. Those components include the water supply; communications; fire service personnel and training; age and condition of fire apparatus; mutual aid agreements; and community risk reduction.

Mattingly said he hadn’t had time to carefully review the ISO report, but said he would continue making changes in the department to improve fire protection.

“We’re pretty excited at what the new classification means,” he said.

The department is already making use of the new fire station located on the old Newcomb Oil complex on East John Rowan Boulevard across from Tatum’s Auto Supply, he said. The city received partial credit for moving forward with a second fire station in the city limits during the ISO review, he said.

“My hat is off to everyone who helped us achieve this goal,” Mattingly said. He praised the council for its support over the years. The new ladder truck the city purchased several years ago also was a big help in improving the city’s fire protection rating, he said.

The most well-known and most-visible additions to the city fire department was one that did not provide any rating points.

Oreo the fire dog — an attention hound who has been widely featured on regional TV and social media in Kentuckiana — did not bring the fire department any additional ISO points.

The change in the ISO rating does not always translate into lower insurance premiums; some insurance companies base premiums on actual losses and other factors.

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