VINTON, LA (KPLC) - Effective August 6, 2012, Calcasieu Parish residents who live in Vinton and pay fire insurance in part with their homeowner's insurance can expect to see lower fire insurance premium rates.
The reduction in rates comes after the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) conducted their grading of the fire department and gave the department a classification of Class 3. Before the 2012 grading period, the Vinton Fire Department had a grade of Class 4.
Jerry Merchant, Vinton Fire Department Fire Chief, says they were a Class 3 department before Hurricane Rita. However, after Rita hit, many fire fighters had to leave to rebuild their lives and because of the lack of manpower and the subsequent lack of training, the PIAL reduced their classification to 4.
Fire departments are rated in classes between 1 and 10 with 1 being the best in fire prevention and protection and 10 being the worst. The lower the class, the lower residents pay in insurance premiums.
Merchant says that it's a combination of new equipment, more hands on deck and more training hours that have helped better prepare the department and has helped get them to Class 3.
See some of this new equipment and hear from Jerry Merchant on later editions of 7News.