Stone Co. Volunteers Could Help Lower Insurance Rates

STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Changes are underway in Stone County when it comes to fire protection. The county is using $120,000 to expand three of its volunteer fire stations. Officials say the extra room means important equipment won't have to be left out in the weather.

Plans are also moving ahead to improve the area's fire rating. The Stone County Fire Service says most of the county rates a ten. Some communities would go to an eight rating with the consolidation of Silver Run, Magnolia, Perkinston, and McHenry into a new Southwest Stone County Fire District.

The fire service says the consolidation could save about 1,000 homeowners 40 percent on their insurance premiums, but that can't happen without public support.

"We need volunteers, and not just volunteer firefighters. We need volunteers that can assist us with work around the station, work on the equipment, fund raising capabilities. Everyone out there has a niche," said Stone County Fire Service Co-ordinator Cathy Garner said.

A community meeting on the consolidation is planned for Thursday, August 21st at the Perkinston Fire Station. Officials say the change could happen as early as December.