Insurance rates to go down with fire district expansion

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Krystal Allan – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Fire officials in West Jackson County will submit a petition to the county board of supervisors Monday to expand north.  The move, officials say, would help reduce insurance rates for people living north of I-10 near Glendale Road up to the Latimer Community Center.

Currently, they have a 10 fire rating.  If that fire rating falls, so will the price of insurance.

"By going from a ten to a seven rating, they will probably get somewhere between a 30 to 40 percent decrease on their fire insurance," said Lyle Crandall, the fire chief for Fort Bayou Department.

The area included in the expansion would fall under the St. Martin Fire Grading District.  This past August, the fire district added a fire department and brought management under one roof. As part of the district, the Fort Bayou Volunteer Fire Department now oversees the West Jackson County and Latimer Volunteer Fire Departments.

"Financially, it was cheaper to run one department versus three."

Crandall said no positions were cut in that consolidation as most of the firefighters are volunteers.  There are only ten paid positions.

He said with 68 firefighters and 23 fire vehicles managed under one roof, it means better fire protection for the area.

"We can get more people and more equipment to places faster than we use to," Crandall said.

Supervisor Tommy Broadnax said a plan that helps people in his district save money is one he supports.

"This is an improvement.  I don't know if many people are going to oppose getting lower insurance rates," Crandall said.

Neighbors could get an early Christmas gift, as fire officials say the lower rates would likely come in December.  If the board approves the petition for expansion, it will go on to the state's fire rating bureau for final approval.

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