Thomasville Times Enterprise

May 23, 2014

Pavo, Barwick residents to benefit from fire deal

Staff report

THOMASVILLE — Brooks County and Thomas County commissioners have approved a fire contract that will result in significant insurance premium savings for Brooks County residents of Pavo and Barwick.

Because of new standards imposed by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the existing mutual aid agreement between Brooks County and Thomas County was deemed no longer adequate, said Mike Stephenson, Thomas County manager.

As a result many homeowners were facing the prospect of a doubling or tripling of fire insurance costs.

Thomas County Fire and Rescue has provided fire service to areas in western Brooks County since 2003. However, ISO no longer considers the mutual-aid agreements in place as sufficient for Brooks County residents of Pavo and Barwick to qualify for premium discounts.

ISO now requires a “primary responder” agreement be in place.

Since Thomas County is already providing the service and would not experience increased costs, approving the agreement was described as a “no-brainer” by county commissioners, Stephenson said.

Without assistance from Thomas County, Brooks County faced an increased cost in fire service of $100,000 to $150,000.

Said Thomas County Fire Chief Chris Jones, “No one truly understands the detailed paper trail and reports that are required to be in place for credit to be given by ISO. ... The days of just putting out the fire are long gone.”

The agreement takes effect immediately.

For additional information, contact Jones at 225-4191.