What’s Going on Here?Donaldsonville Fire Department receives fire rating

Allison B. Hudson

WHAT IT IS: The Donaldsonville Fire Department received its fire rating from the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL). The PIAL is granted authority to perform its duties by state law.  It is required so that insurance companies can apply rates that reflect risks of properties they insure, specifically from fire.

The process of the fire rating is an audit. PIAL sends a questionnaire that focuses on how the fire department receives alarms, the fire department’s capabilities, and its water supply.

“Once the questionnaire is returned, a visit from a PIAL representative is scheduled and ensures information is correct, scores it, and applies the appropriate rating,” said Fire Chief Chuck Montero. “Class one is the best rating, and class ten is the worst rating.”

The process is an ongoing process to maintain all the training and equipment testing.

The actual process of gathering all the information for the questionnaire takes only a couple of weeks. The visit by the representative is usually completed in two or three days according to Montero.

Chief Montero said that the better the fire rating means lower insurance rates for homeowners and businesses.

Currently, the City of Donaldsonville Fire Department has a Class 4 rating in the city and will maintain that rating.  Fire District number two currently has a Class 5 rating.  Fire District number two encompasses the west bank of Ascension Parish outside the city limits of Donaldsonville.  Effective October 10, 2011, Fire District number two will improve from a Class 5 to a Class 4. 

“Probably the biggest factor in the improvement in the district is due to the water system that is now in place,” said Montero.

Montero added, “improvements can be made to our rating by increasing personnel, but additional personnel can be a detriment to our rating if they do not attend training or incidents.  As always, we need people who will be active in the department.  If you are interested in joining the department, just walk in the door and ask about it or give us a call at 225-473-0664.”