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May 2020
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Bent Tree now top-rated fire station

bent tree fire 2

Captain Trevor Beavers, Fire Chief Steven Atkins, Firefighter Asia Payne of the Bent Tree Volunteer Department.

From Bent Tree Public Safety


The Bent Tree Volunteer Fire Department has received the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating of Class 2. This is an improvement over the former rating of Class 4. This rating has been achieved by only 1,597 of the 50,000 fire departments nationwide that are rated by ISO. This puts Bent Tree in the top four percent of fire departments in the United States and makes them the top-rated department in Pickens County. The new rating will become effective October 1 for Bent Tree residents who should see lower insurance bills.

Fire departments across the nation are rated by the ISO to determine a PPC for individual fire protection districts.  The ISO schedule develops a PPC number on a relative scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the very best and 10 representing less than minimum recognized fire protection. Most U.S. insurers of homes and business properties use the PPC in calculating premiums. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC. 

The fire department’s improved PPC reflects the Bent Tree Volunteer Fire Department’s commitment to providing quality fire protection to the residents and visitors of the Bent Tree community. 

Bent Tree General Manager Tom Fowler congratulated Bent Tree’s Director of Public Safety Steve Smith and Bent Tree Fire Chief Steven Atkins on their hard work and dedication to provide exceptional quality of fire protection to the Bent Tree Community. 

The Bent Tree Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank General Manager Tom Fowler, Controller Melissa Leach, the Bent Tree Board of Directors and all of the residents of Bent Tree for the support and encouragement they have given. 

When the ISO evaluates a fire department’s capabilities it uses a system called the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) which employs nationally accepted standards developed by such organizations as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) international. The FSRS considers three main areas of a community’s fire suppression capabilities including Emergency Communications (911 Call Center), the Fire Department and the Water Department. In addition, it includes a Community Risk Reduction section that recognizes community efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education, and fire investigation.