The Board of Commissioners and the Sumter County Fire Department announce the opening of its 3rd staffed Sumter County Fire Station in Plains, Georgia. The Plains Fire Station (#8) is now open and functioning as a full-time station 24/7. It is currently staffed by one full-time paid staff member and three inmate firefighters. The 4th staffed station at Lake Blackshear is equipped with pumpers and other equipment essential for fire services and the living quarters for a 4-person staff are scheduled to open near the end of 2010, bringing the total number of staffed stations to four. The Fire Department Staff and National Fire Services are in the final stages this week of completing the assessment for the Insurance Services Offices Review. The next step in the ISO Review is for an on site inspection that will occur as ISO’s schedule permits. It is anticipated that the review will be completed early 2011 and the ISO will have provided new insurance ratings for Sumter County. It is anticipated that many portions of the county will receive a much improved fire rating when the results are finalized, which will translate in lower cost of home owners insurance. This information will be provided to local insurance companies who will utilize this information for rating property owners for their insurance premiums. The Sumter County Fire Department now has a total of twenty-two fire stations, four of which will be staffed with a minimum of four fire fighters each. The State of Ga. Insurance Commissioners regulations require that residences be within 5 road miles of a fire station in order to qualify for lower insurance costs, thus the need for 22 stations to cover the 492 square miles of Sumter County. Four of these are staffed and the others unmanned but are equipped with fire fighting equipment.
Training is continuing for both career firefighters and inmates. A new inmate recruit class of thirteen inmate firefighters passed the skills portion of the NPQ certification test given this past Saturday. This is one more step in having the entire staff certified as Nationally Certified Firefighters. The last phase for the recruits is completion of a Hazardous Materials Operations class to be scheduled early in January. If any one has any questions regarding Sumter County Fire Services they should visit the website for additional information sumtercountyga.us for a list and map of station locations or they can call the Sumter County Board of Commissioners Office at 229-928-4500.
Submitted by Lynn Taylor, County Administrator