Beaufort County, SC – It has been announced from Fire Chief Reece Bertholf that the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department will become the newest department in the state to receive the ISO Class 1 rating, effective August 1st. This announcement comes days after both North Charleston and Summerville Fire Departments announced that they are also receiving Class 1 ratings. This is a strong indication of the hard work that Firefighters are putting in across the state.
Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department is the first Fire Department in the Beaufort County to achieve this prestigious rating. In fact, only one half of one percent of all departments nation wide will receive this rating.
“This best-possible rating speaks to the determination and dedication of our fire department over the years, and to the strong support by the Port Royal Town Council and Beaufort City Council to provide exceptional fire protection,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said.
Prior to this latest review, the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department carried a joint ISO 2 rating. A strong ISO fire rating can translate to annual savings on fire insurance premiums, particularly for commercial properties. Insurance companies can use the ISO rating as an indicator of a community’s ability to provide fire protection. Verisk Analytics, formerly known as the Insurance Services Office, provided the professional review, assessment and rating for the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department.
“We have the right equipment, we have a well-trained group of firefighters and we have fire stations in the right locations,” Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis said. “We’ve also got a strong water utility in Beaufort- Jasper Water & Sewer, and they’ve done a tremendous job making sure we have fire hydrants and strong water pressures in our area.”
New to this year’s fire rating is the Community Risk Reduction factor, which includes the area’s building codes and enforcement, fire safety education, and community outreach such as smoke detector programs. Beaufort and Port Royal earned 5.3 of the total 5.5 points in that category.
“The Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department serves our communities at an exceptionally high level, and this new ISO 1 rating affirms that,” Fire Chief Reece Bertholf said. “About 30 years ago, our communities had an ISO of 6 to 9. Over the years we have made great strides and we are proud to share this new ISO 1 rating. This is a clear indication that we are making progress and making the right improvements to serve and protect our entire community,”