Upgrade of New Augusta, Miss. Fire Grading District Announced

April 28, 2003

Insurance Commissioner George Dale announced that the Mississippi State Rating Bureau has upgraded the public fire protection facilities of New Augusta, Mississippi.

The fire prevention and protection facilities of New Augusta have been upgraded to a Class 8 fire insurance classification, the Bureau announced recently.

“Upgraded fire classifications mean better quality fire protection in that fire district, as well as lower premiums for the homeowners living there,” Dale said.

Individual property fire rates are also determined by such factors as specific construction, occupancy, private protection, and exposure from adjacent buildings.

Since 1988, Dale has focused on improving fire protection in rural areas by expanding the number of rural fire departments and enhancing their capabilities to fight fires. As a result, over 100 new rated rural fire districts with Class 8 or 9 fire protection ratings have been recognized.

The Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program (RFTAAP) – part of Dale’s Action 2000 plan to enhance Mississippi’s rural fire protection capabilities – has distributed $11.2 million in state funds towards the purchase of over 298 new fire trucks by cities and counties whose fire departments primarily serve rural areas. Since the program’s inception, one in five Mississippians receive protection from a fire department that has purchased one or more trucks through RFTAAP.

Working with local governments, the state has provided fire ground training and administrative know-how along with seed monies to improve the quality of fire protection services. The net result of these efforts means that over 1.3 million Mississippians have improved their insurance class since 1995. Others living adjacent to those areas also have benefited indirectly because they are served by departments with higher rating classes.

“The insurance savings created by the state’s $11.2 million public
investment easily results in an savings of $12 to $15 million every year for our citizens in homeowners premium costs – not counting the lives and property actually saved by these improved services,” Dale said.

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