Fire Department Rating Increase Could Cost Taxpayers

Fire Department Rating Increase Could Cost Taxpayers

A company that rates fire departments on their level of protective services is now in Memphis. And that's not good news.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - A company that rates fire departments on their level of protective services is now in Memphis. And that's not good news.

The Memphis Fire Department has had to cut $5.5 million from its budget.

There are days when there aren't enough people to staff all the fire stations.

If the agency rules MFD isn't providing good protection, we'll pay more for fire insurance.

The company is called ISO, and they are checking the city fire services out.

If they determine the budget cuts directly affect the level of service Memphis and its buildings become a bigger fire risk and everybody has to pay a bigger bill.

“The insurance side of this is more catastrophic than a tax increase to the general citizen,” Thomas Malone of the Memphis Firefighters Association said. “My understanding is through e-mails they are reaching out to the director as we've asked them to do and we've asked them to come back in and re-evaluate all the cuts that have been done.”

The Memphis Fire Department has to cut $5.5 million from its budget. It means on most days not all the trucks are in service or stations aren't opened. The current Memphis rating is about two point eight.

“The higher your numbered the more you pay on insurance,” Malone said.

If the ranking number slides just a couple of points to a three, Malone checked on a regular house and a commercial property.

“We looked at probably a little over $1700 a year (for the commercial property). For a house, I think we did a $100,000 house, and it was about $312 dollars.

Malone remains worried that the cuts in the department will end up with firefighters injured or killed.

He says this rating could open the eyes of a lot of people.
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