The county’s ISO rating, in part, determines how much you pay for your house insurance.  What is Jasper County’s ISO rating?

July 28, 2016

TWG had no idea that Comm. Salmon had been appointed the “ISO guy” for the county.  This subject has not been discussed at any commissioners meeting for the last 2 years or more.  So how Salmon got appointed is a mystery.

Approximately a month ago Comm. Salmon called Alcovy Shores Water to inform them he was the ISO guy for the county.  He then had someone else (unidentified) get on the line and ask a lot of questions about Alcovy Shores Water Authority.  Hopefully, this was not another harassment technique by Comm. Salmon.

What Comm. Salmon needs to do is check with his fire chief, Jarrett Slocumb, and ask him why the fire hydrants of JCWSA haven’t been taken care of, including weed eating around them so they can be found.  This is something Jarrett Slocumb was supposed to do along with the job he was originally hired for- maintaining the county’s fire equipment.  However, it has been at least 3 years since he or his part-time assistant fire fighter has cleaned around the hydrants.  In fact, the maintenance of the hydrants is supposed to be done for/by JCWSA to get their $42,900 each year from the county.  “Fire hydrants should be visible from all approaches. There should be no brush or tree limbs that could interfere with anyone approaching the hydrant and attempting to connect to it or operate it.”

Can you find the fire hydrant in this picture?  This is located in north Jasper County. Many JCWSA fire hydrants in Jasper County are in this same condition.

Bear Creek Pt Hydrant Not Maintained Oct14

Comm. Salmon would be a good pick for “the ISO guy” since ISO is an advisory organization that insurers use.  ISO collects information useful in many aspects of insurance underwriting, and it is our understanding that Comm. Salmon works in risk management with an insurance company.

The ISO rating, in part, determines how much you pay for your house insurance.

There were several things that were not exactly correct when the county got its last ISO rating, including counting the fire truck that was housed in Hillsboro that was inoperable.  Today we have fire hydrants that can’t even be found because the growth around them hasn’t been cut back.  UFC 1001.7.2 states: “A 3-foot clear space shall be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants except as otherwise required or approved.”

A couple of years back there had been no ladder tests, hoses were found to have problems, and some trucks had issues (brakes, flat tires, etc.) because of no maintenance.  Maybe, hopefully, all that has been corrected since Jarrett Slocumb is now not only Fire Chief, but EMS director.

The County ISO rating depends on many things, which we outline below. 

The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is a manual containing the criteria ISO uses in reviewing the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of individual communities or fire protection areas. The schedule measures the major elements of a community’s fire protection system and develops a numerical grading called a Public Protection Classification (PPC™).

FSRS evaluates four primary categories of fire suppression — fire department, emergency communications, water supply, and community risk reduction.

To receive certain PPC ratings, a community must meet minimum criteria. After a community meets those criteria, the PPC rating depends on the community’s score on the point scale.

1.     Emergency communications–A maximum of 10 points of a community’s overall score is based on how well the fire department receives and dispatches fire alarms.

2.     Fire department  — A maximum of 50 points of the overall score is based on the fire department. ISO checks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly and inventories each engine and ladder company’s equipment. ISO also reviews the fire company records to determine factors such as:

  • type and extent of training provided to fire company personnel
  • number of people who participate in training
  • firefighter response to emergencies
  • maintenance and testing of the fire department’s equipment

3.     Water supply–A maximum of 40 points of the overall score is based on the community’s water supply. This part of the survey focuses on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. ISO also reviews fire hydrant inspections and frequency of flow testing. Finally, we count the number of fire hydrants that are no more than 1,000 feet from the representative locations.

An ISO rating can be anywhere from 1 to 10.  Maybe we will soon see what our ISO guy for the county can do for us; however, he will have to make sure our fire chief is doing his job before our ISO rating can get better.




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  1. Confused and fed up says:

    I heard that employees are supposed to find out tomorrow if they still have a job or if National EMS is taking over. #1 why is this the first citizens have heard of this? #2 Why are employees being blindsided by this? #3 Is this another backdoor deal by the commissioners?

    • Surprise says:

      There is nothing about EMS on the agenda. Not that it means anything.

      The employees and citizens are always the last to know; usually after the deal is done.

  2. Do not be fooled says:

    Did JCWSA approach some of our commissioners, especially the two that had previously served on the authority’s board for more county backing?

    We asked our insurance agent what goes into the ISO rating and if we could save money if we had a hydrant in front of our house.

    She did not know the answer off hand but did the research. She said that the ISO rating is a little like a credit rating. Many variables go into the calculations.

    We could have a fire hydrant 5 feet from our front door and another one by the backdoor and our ISO rating would not change one bit.

    The county would need to have a lot more fire stations, all staffed by full time fire fighters. It would depend on the equipment of the fire department, how much pressure and water the fire truck carries and can pump at one time. It would depend on the extra training, the proximity of fire stations, communications etc. etc.

    The point is that merely having a fire hydrant near your house does not lower the ISO rating.

    The taxpayers cannot afford a lower ISO rating and we do not need an ISO guy.

  3. Overtaxed says:

    ISO ratings seem to come up every time JCWSA is looking for money.

    I suspect they need more taxpayer money or taxpayer backing to borrow more money.

    We are told that we could save thousands of dollars if we had a better ISO rating. Lowering the ISO rating means spending more money – a lot more money.

    I got my property tax bill today. I am not ready or willing to pay more taxes.

  4. JCR says:

    I was merely suggesting that a better ISO rating can have a positive return on investment. That’s all.

  5. Equal Treatment? says:

    I am curious to know if the other water authorities and water municipalities in the county were asked the same questions.

    Craig Salmon seems to dislike Alcovy Shores Water, almost to the point of harassment.

    Leave Alcovy Shores alone. We love them.

    • Sneaky Snake Salmon Up To His Petty Old Tricks says:

      Sneaky Snake Salmon slithered from the JCWSA to the Boc carrying his sack of lies and a twisted vendetta against Alcovy Shores with him. This little, agenda driven man has been obsessed with ruining the good name of the self-supporting Alcovy Shores Water Authority since he took his first bite of the poison JCWSA apple. JCWSA has been nothing but a total failure and a tax burden to the property owners of Jasper County since Day 1, which is why Sneaky Snake wants Alcovy Shores Water gone. As long as Alcovy Shores remains the benchmark of what a competently ran water authority should look like, the fiscal wreck JCWSA will smolder in its shadow.

      And, ruining a business is something Sneaky Snake Salmon knows well. He is so good at it that he ruined his own business just to show us how it’s done. Sure, if ISO stands for Incompetent, Sneaky and Obsessive then Sneaky Snake Salmon is your man. He’ll have us all ISOed in a jiffy.

  6. Apples to Pineapples says:

    We cannot ever compare Johns Creek with Jasper County.

    Here are some statistics for comparison:

    Johns Creek area – 31.27 square miles – Jasper County area 373 square miles

    Johns Creek population – 83,000 – Jasper County population – 27,000

    Johns Creek median income – $116,000 – Jasper County median income – $42,100

    Johns Creek median home price – $372,600 – Jasper County median home price – $100,000

    John Creek millage rate – 4.614 – Jasper County millage rate 16.446
    (City of Monticello millage rate – 6.327)

    Jasper County has a large land mass and is sparsely populated. In order to get a much better ISO rating we would have to build a lot more fire stations, equip and staff them. We just cannot afford that. Our taxes are too high already.

  7. Volunteer FF says:

    JCR, I think you mean their ISO ratings were lowered in John’s Creek. I am not interested in paying more taxes than I do now to have full time firefighters. The problem today for smaller and rural counties is the training required. Almost every man that worked in Monticello used to be a volunteer firefighter, from the bank employees, the mayor, to the hardware store worker. Our own people are willing to volunteer and work for our county, but the state or FEMA or GEMA has decided that people that work elsewhere are not wanted as volunteers. They have made it almost impossible to have a job and get the training to be a volunteer firefighter. To those that can take that time and serve as volunteers, Thank You!

  8. Scrap Recovery says:

    Another little tidbit. How many fire truck drivers have a CDL as required to drive a truck that Big? A CDL Class B is required on a fire truck.

  9. Ridiculous says:

    Between taxes and insurance my escrow account gets so messed up I have to refinance about every three years. It’s expensive and time consuming. I’ll never get my place paid off. Taxes and insurance alone are $2700 and $5030 respectively. The escrow is almost the same as the principle. In my opinion that is past ridiculous, especially when I don’t really see anything for the money I spend. If we had good services and people were paid a decent salary it would help. But everything does not get done as it should, homeowners insurance is a gamble at best. Most folks will work better if they are paid better, if not, they should be fired and someone else will be more than happy to do the job. We could do that if there was less waste, such as trips for the BOC, that I have not seen do us or them any good. I could go on but I’ll let someone else list some of the waste.

  10. JCR says:

    This could be the single greatest return on investment for your community: Fire Protection and higher ISO ratings.

    The City of Johns Creek had their ISO ratings rise and the residents saw a sharp drop in their insurance premiums.


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