Second fire grading district in county receives class nine rating

By Press Reports

On Friday September 5, 2014 the Simpson and Union Volunteer Fire Departments, under the direction of Chiefs Smith Rabun and Lacy Dean, and located in the northwestern portion of Choctaw County put their water supply and water use skills to the test for a field rating representative from the MS Rating Bureau in an effort to meet the state standards required to drop the insurance classification rating to a NINTH CLASS and become the second area of Choctaw County to receive this rating in the rural areas of the county and thus help homeowners residing in this district.

In a letter dated September 10, 2014 from the MS State Rating Bureau submitted to the County Fire Coordinator Chris Coleman, Chiefs Rabun and Dean, and the Choctaw County Fire Services, it was stated, “We are pleased to advise that the fire defenses of the Simpson-Union Fire Grading District have advanced, and an improved fire insurance classification of Ninth Class has been confirmed effective September 9, 2014. This public protection classification applies to eligible properties located within the legal boundaries of the Simpson-Union District. Any insurance contracts covering dwellings located within this district may be endorsed from September 9, 2014, on a pro rata basis to take advantage of the current fire premiums indicated in the “Ninth Class Premium and Rate Table,” of the Mississippi Dwelling Manuel. ”

“I want to commend Chiefs Dean and Rabun, the Simpson and Union Fire Department volunteers, the county board of supervisors, and the fire departments of Choctaw County that have once again bonded together and have shown an unbelievable willingness to work hand in hand and train together all for the betterment of their communities and the citizens in which they serve,” said Chris Coleman, County Fire Coordinator “Insurance companies use these classification ranks and standards to weigh the fire peril in our county.”

Coleman also noted that all the hard work by the volunteers was to benefit everyone in the entire county since the other county fire departments are now beginning to follow the same course of action through the state’s review process to lower their fire rating for their districts as well. “We are continuing to follow the map and plan we have in place with the MS Rating Bureau and the county supervisors to move throughout our county until each rural fire department district is lowered to a NINTH CLASS to cover all the residents of this place we call home. After the NINTH CLASS is achieved, then we will begin to work towards an EIGHTH CLASS in each district. Simpson and Union now join the Bywy Fire Department as being the second rural area in our county with a ninth class rating.” added Coleman, “Even though it takes small steps to fulfill our long term goal, we will do what we can do to help each and every homeowner of Choctaw County. This is the second step in our six step process to improve fire services and lower insurance premiums for our homeowners.”

It’s important to note that even though a single district may benefit from the rating process, it’s a team effort from each department and volunteer throughout the area to make it all a reality for the entire county.

Coleman described the mutual aid process set up by the county, “If we get a call for a structure fire, it’s usually not just one department that responds. Added personnel and equipment from every department improves our fire fighting capability,” he said. “We have annual contracts in place within our county each year between the departments and our neighboring county departments to assist one another when the need arises.

I want to encourage each citizen of our county and our neighboring counties to rally behind these volunteers and our fire departments and show their appreciation for the work they are doing and the commitment they show to not only save lives and property, but also to help possibly lower insurance costs,” said Coleman.

For more information on fire department ratings visit: