The rating upgrade is part of a three-year effort to upgrade Saltillo’s resources to meet the Mississippi State Rating Bureau’s standards.
“In 2009, we outlined what was needed to accomplish the goal of obtaining a class seven,” said Saltillo Fire Chief Mark Nowell. “The fire department began recruiting additional volunteer firefighters, training schedules were outlined, fire department records were updated and upgraded, and equipment was upgraded.”
The fire department isn’t the only department involved in the ratings improvement.
The water department, under Richard Feist, worked to install larger water mains and hydrants as well as additional mains and hydrants. The code enforcement department, under Brian Grissom, made sure property owners were complying with codes when building and maintaining their structures.
Nowell said in addition to the other city departments who worked to help with the rating increase, he thanks Lee County E-911 for dispatching his first responders and firefighters calmly and quickly.
The Saltillo Fire Department consists of both paid and volunteer firefighters who worked hard to see this improvement, Nowell said.
“The fire department’s mission statement includes the phrase, ‘dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in our community,’” he said. “I feel that with this accomplishment we have enhanced the quality of life in Saltillo.”
Now they will take a deep breath before looking at further system improvements.
“We’re going to try to keep moving down the line,” he said. “I think a class six is definitely the next goal.”
Nowell said the department encourages all Saltillo property owners to contact their fire insurance providers to ask for a lower insurance rate.