New plan would boost Dougherty Co. fire rating -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New plan would boost Dougherty Co. fire rating

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Fire Chief James Carswell Fire Chief James Carswell
Richard Crowdis, Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis, Dougherty County Administrator

Dougherty County leaders say a new fire protection plan in unincorporated parts of the county will improve safety for hundreds of residents, and may even boost the local economy. 

Fire Chief James Carswell says new equipment will make fire hydrants more accessible to more than 800  structures, saving residents big money in home insurance premiums.     

The threat of flames engulfing a home in unincorporated Dougherty County is hitting residents in their wallets.   "I mean anytime we can actually make our community safer or save them money, we're gonna go out of our way to do it," said Albany Fire Chief James Carswell.    

Carswell wants to buy four new service trucks to haul more than 20,000 feet of new reflective hose.  It will run from fire hydrants to buildings and make water more accessible during fires.  

"Because of the way our county stations are situated, we don't have to hire additional man power."   

The required equipment will cost the county more than $650,000. The chief says the plan will lower Insurance Service Office ratings and reduce some homeowner premiums by $1,000 a year.  

"It's a continuation of the fire protection improvements that the county has been doing over the years," said Richard Crowdis, Dougherty County Administrator.  Crowdis says the plan has been in the works for nearly eight years. He says the extra money residents save will spark growth.  

"Every year as long as they're there; could be 30 years," he said. "So if they save $1,000 every year, in ten years you've saved $10,000 that you can; discretionary funds for whatever," said Crowdis.  

The chief says firefighters will need to demonstrate they can move 30,000 gallons of water with the new equipment in two hours for lower ratings. He's confident they can do it.     

The chief says much of the county has an ISO rating of 9. He says the plan will drop that to a 2, which is great fire protection. County leaders will vote on the proposal at their next meeting.


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