Bertram VFD improves ISO rating



The Bertram Volunteer Fire Department has achieved a fire safety rating comparative to that of big city, paid fire departments.

In a letter dated Monday, Aug. 1, Bertram Volunteer Fire Department was notified they had improved their ISO Fire Suppression Rating by evaluation of state officials.

“We got a Class 3 ISO rating by the Texas Fire Marshal's Office,” said BVFD Chief Bobby Huffstuttler. “It's a pretty big deal for a small fire department to get Class 3. You usually have to have paid members.”

Huffstuttler said out of roughly 2,000 fire departments in Texas, there are only 26 departments that achieved a Class 1, rating, which is the highest that can be achieved, and only 201 were rated a Class 2.

“The last time, we got a Class 6, so we reduced from a Class 6 to a 3. That's a big accomplishment for us,” he said. “We feel like we've done a service to the community.”

Huffstuttler said the new rating will become effective by January 2017, and will represent a $300 savings on insurance payments for residents in the department's coverage area.

“From a Class 9 to a Class 3 is about $600 a year on everyone's insurance,” he said, “that's hundreds of thousands of dollars a year we're saving the citizens of Bertram.”

Huffstuttler said the department has been pursuing a lower rating since 2010.

“It takes a lot to follow the minimum standards set by the insurance companies to get this rating,” he said. “We had to have a second engine.”

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