That’s according to a report released by Cherokee County that indicates the Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services has retained its Insurance Service Office rating of 5/9.
The Public Protection Classification survey, which was conducted in December, states the county will retain its split rating.
The rating will become effective on Nov. 1.
Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather will review the report and will identify areas the county can improve upon.
“I will be meeting soon with an ISO representative to solicit their recommendations to assist with improving the PPC,” Prather said in a news release.
County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens said the rating’s consistency was not a surprise.
“I don’t think there was a high expectation that we would improve this time until we get our training facility operating,” he said.
Prather agreed, saying the county does “have a lot of room to grow” in that area.
“I am very excited and optimistic of the impact this facility will have on delivering our training as well as the PPC,” he said.
The county provides fire protection for unincorporated Cherokee and the cities of Holly Springs, Ball Ground, Waleska and Nelson.
The ISO system is used to rate how well fire departments serve their area.
The scale runs from one to 10, with one being the best fire service. The ratings are used to calculate homeowners’ insurance costs.
The city of Woodstock was notified it retained its Class 3 rating earlier this year.
The Canton Fire Department has not been reviewed. It currently has a Class 4.
The county’s split rating applies to two separate areas of services.
Homes located on a water system with fire hydrants where water is available are eligible for the 5 rating.
Homes that are in areas with no water systems with fire hydrants and are within a five-mile radius of a fire station are only eligible for the 9 ISO rating.
The ISO’s Public Protection Classification rates local fire departments based on three areas: emergency communications, fire departments and water supply.
Emergency communications, which accounts for 10 percent of a score, includes analyzing 911 telephone systems, the adequacy of phone lines, operator supervisor and staffing and dispatching hardware and software system.
Rating fire stations accounts for 50 percent of an entity’s score and evaluates the adequacy of equipment, sufficient staffing, evaluation of training, existence of automatic aid and the geographic distribution of fire stations.
The remaining 40 percent focuses on water supply, including the condition and maintenance of fire hydrants, existence of alternative water sources and an evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to put out fires.