Residents who live in the Pinedale volunteer fire department’s district will possibly be eligible for lower insurance rates for their homes, county officials said Monday.
Union County Fire Services Coordinator Steve Coker said that the Mississippi State Ratings Bureau recently changed the Pinedale fire department’s rating from a class 9 to a class 8.
Set on a 10-point scale, the ratings system gives lower ratings for improvements in equipment and services.
Pinedale Fire Chief Gary Gray said that department’s improvements came mainly from new equipment purchased by the county.
“The supervisors bought us a Class A pumper truck with the money that we raised from community support,” Gray said. “It can carry up to a 1,000 gallons of water and is capable of pumping 1,200 gallons per minute. We also purchased a 2,000 gallon tanker truck with some of the funds that we’ve raised.”
Beyond equipment, the bureau also examines a fire department’s response times to calls and manpower as well.
Gray said that the new rating went into effect April 7 and that homeowners within a five-mile radius of the department may be eligible for the lower insurance rates.
“Most everyone in the southwest corner of the county will be affected. They will need to contact their insurance agents,” Gray said. “Different companies will offer different rates.”
Coker said that typically a decrease in ratings will lower insurance rates between 15 to 18 percent. He also said that with Pinedale’s improvement, most of the county’s volunteer fire departments now have a class 8 rating.
Gray said that the new rating would not have been possible without the communities help.
“The community has been very supportive of us and we appreciate that,” Gray said. “They’ve helped us raise the funds we needed for this.”
The Pinedale department will be hosting another barbeque supper fundraiser beginning at 4 p.m. on May 7. Plates will be $7 and Boston butts will be on sale for $28. The Rocky Ford String Band will also perform.