Hinton Volunteer Fire Department Receives Improved ISO Rating
Dropped from a 6/6 to a 4/4y



6/5/2014 ~ by Jacob Edwards

The Hinton Volunteer Fire Department received the news from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) that their Public Protection Classification rating has dropped from a 6/6 to a 4/4y.

The classification is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best. In order to get a lower number, you must have paid firefighters on shift 24 hours, 7 days a week. Also, you must have fire hydrants located on every street in your protection area, 500 feet apart of each other. The Hinton Volunteer Fire Department has some very dedicated volunteers that serve the Hinton Community and all the communities in the West End of Pickens County.

The survey is divided into three sections which include the 911 Center, the Fire Department and the water supply systems. A review of the 911 Center accounts for ten percent of the total classification. This part of the review focuses on the community’s facilities and support for handling and dispatching alarms for structure fires. The review of the fire department accounts for fifty percent of the total classification.

ISO focuses on the department's fire suppression capabilities. Forty percent of the score comes from a review of the water supply system. ISO evaluates the community’s water supply system to determine the adequacy for fire suppression purposes. ISO also considers hydrant size, type, and installation, as well as the frequency and completeness of hydrant inspections and flow-testing programs.

With the help of Pickens County Water Department Director Larry Coleman and the Pickens County Board of Commissioners, they were able to obtain this remarkable score. Before our inspection date, Hinton Firefighters went out to various hydrants within their fire district to re-test for fire suppression capabilities.

It was determined that Hill City Elementary had an issue with their water system. During the day while school was in full operation it was determined that Hill City’s fire hydrants were putting out a volume of approximately 278 gallons of water per minute. While school was not in operation, it was determined that the hydrants were flowing approximately 750 gallons of water per minute. With the type of structure and the size of the structure, ISO required a minimum of 4500 gallons per minute of flow from the hydrants.

Chief Jerry Edwards of the Hinton Volunteer Fire Department met with Mr. Coleman, the Board of Education, and the Board of Commissioners for Pickens County and stated his findings. The Board of Commissioners, and Mr. Coleman agreed that if Pickens County Board of Education would purchase the needed water line, that Pickens County would install a 10” water main running from a nearby water tank to the school as a dedicated line for the school, free of charge. All parties agreed on laying the new water main. The pipe was ordered and the operation began immediately.

Pickens County Water Department had the new water main installed in four days which was just in time for our inspection. The new water line boosted the water volume to a few gallons per minute shy of 4500 which was satisfactory for ISO. Hill City School will benefit from the lower ISO rating as well as the individuals and businesses located in station 6 protection district.

Chief Edwards would like to take the time to personally thank all of the Hinton Volunteer Firefighters for their dedication in making a difference in the Hinton Community and surrounding communities in which we serve. Chief Edwards would also like to personally thank all of the citizens who reside in our protection area for their continued support to the department. They would not be where we are today if it wasn't for our great community and our dedicated firefighters.