PT undergoes insurance inspection

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It has been 11 years since the last insurance rating inspection, but at the Pleasant Township Board of Trustees meeting held on April 22, it was announced it is time for a new one.

"The Insurance Services Office (ISO) will start their inspection the first of May," said Pleasant Township Fire Chief Jay Noojin. "It may take them a period of time to complete."

ISO is the principal provider of insurance underwriting, rating and statistical information to the insurance industry in the United States.

According to their Web site, nearly all insurance companies use ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) Program in calculating premiums for property insurance. They also use the PPC information to establish premiums for fire insurance, generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection.

They use what is called a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). It is assigned from 1 to 10, Class 1 representing exemplary public protection, while Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program is not up to par with ISO’s minimum criteria. In the United States, 61 municipalities have a PPC Class 1 Community, with 12 of those being in California. Ohio has none.

"From the last inspection, most of our areas were at an 8 or 9," Noojin said.

Noojin added he believes it is because of the lack of fire hydrants in Pleasant Township, saying it "kills us in the ratings."

"There are hydrants in Timberlake, Old Harrisburg and Oak Hills," said Chairman Keith Goldhardt. "We use dry hydrants in the other areas."

A dry hydrant is a non-pressurized pipe system permanently installed in existing lakes, ponds and streams that provides a suction supply of water to a fire department tanker truck.

Goldhardt believes the FSRS/PPC ratings will be better because of change to not only the township, but the fire department as well.

"Eleven years ago, we went from a squad, to a department, to having two running medics and an additional engine," he said. "We’ve also added personnel. We try to keep six on duty at all times."

If the PPC is worse than the previous time the inspection was done, the ISO will notify the community, but will not distribute that information to the insurance industry to use for premium calculations.

Instead, they tell the community if they wish to improve its classification, they will have up to one year to make improvements.

"This is how the insurance rates are based now," Goldhardt said. "If we get a lower rating, it could lower the insurance rates of the whole township."

New sirens

The township currently has four emergency sirens. There is one in Harrisburg, one in Darbydale, one in Pleasant View, and one on Georgesville Road.

However, it is not enough. Some residents have told the township that they cannot hear the sirens when they go off, which would be detrimental to their health if they could not hear it go off during a true emergency, and not just a drill.

The township has purchased two additional sirens, thought the placement has not been determined.

"I would like there to be one close to Zuber Road," Goldhardt said. "I’m not sure where the other one will go."

The sirens are purchased through the Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security at $18,000 a piece.

Goldhardt added the price could be reduced if other townships purchase one and hook them up to the emergency broadcasting system.

Next meeting

A representative with the Franklin County Engineer’s Office will be at the May 13 township meeting to discuss the bridge/drainage situation on Zuber Road and give projections on what the engineer’s office wants to do and what may work to fix the problem.

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