HENRY COUNTY, GA. – May 21, 2020 – Henry County Fire Chief Luther Phillips announced during the May 19 Commission meeting that through a coordinated effort between the Fire Department, E-911 and the Henry County Water Authority, Henry County has received it’s best ISO rating in the department’s history, earning a score of two on a 1 to 10 scale. The lower the number the better the rating and a lower rating is a major benefit to citizens. ISO stands for Insurance Services Office.

In the ISO rating scale, 1 is the best possible rating, while a 10 means the fire department did not meet the ISO's minimum requirements. A low ISO rating usually helps reduce insurance costs to homeowner and businesses.

“On average, a more favorable ISO rating, like the one Henry County recently received, can result in a decrease to a homeowner’s insurance by six percent,” said Deputy Chief Jonathan Burnette.

Phillips said the excellent ISO rating was a collaborative effort between the Henry County Fire Department, Emergency Communications and the Henry County Water Authority, all working together, along with the cities of Locust Grove, McDonough and Stockbridge, who have all contributed to the evaluation data and efforts. The new rating takes effect on August 1, 2020.

Phillips said the last ISO evaluation came in 2012 where the county earned a score of 4, and said the department is much different now than it was then.

“Over the course of these years, with the support of the elected officials and county administration, the department has been able to make improvements in the areas where we needed it,” he said. “We needed more fire stations for our five-mile coverage area and more personnel to staff the stations.” 

Phillips said that the county and its citizens have been very responsive to fire service needs and the HCFD currently has a recruit class ready to graduate.

He said in January, ISO evaluators travelled to Henry County for the evaluation and this past Monday, he was notified that Henry County Fire Department was reclassified to a grade 2.

“It’s a significant jump from a 4 to a 2, and as a 2, we are one of approximately 1,600 fire departments out of 30,000 who have achieved an ISO rating of 2 across the United States.
The rating puts Henry County in the top five percent of fire departments across the country,” said Phillips.

Commissioners were elated at the news of the near-perfect score and praised Phillips for his leadership of the department. 

“Congratulations Chief Phillips. This is awesome. This is good news, and for our citizens, please note what this means for you with your insurance savings potential,” said Commission Chair June Wood.

District I Commissioner Johnny Wilson also congratulated the department and asked what the Board can do to assist ongoing efforts. 

District II Commissioner Dee Clemmons said she was elated about the news because District 2 saw the construction of three fire stations in the last three years and she knows Henry County is well covered by fire service. 

District III Commissioner Gary Barham thanked the voters for approving SPLOST IV, which enabled the county to build additional fire stations and purchase necessary apparatus.

District IV Commissioner Vivian Thomas said, “It’s absolutely exciting. And it’s another golden nugget where we can say Henry County is moving in the right direction.”

Phillips said that although he was pleased with the improved rating, his next steps are to formulate a three-year plan to earn a perfect rating.

“I told my staff while this is a significant achievement, it’s not an end game for us. The next step is to establish a three-year plan to achieve an ISO rating of 1. We are within striking distance of a 1, which is as high as you can go,” said Phillips.

District V Commissioner Bruce Holmes also thanked Phillips and the department.

“You have done a tremendous job since you’ve been here, and just know that we are here to support you every step of the way,” said Holmes.

For more information about the Henry County Fire Department, please visit www.co.henry.ga.us.