By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

(Lawrenceville) – Gwinnett Fire Chief Casey Snyder reported to commissioners in a briefing Tuesday that the county’s fire rating improved by two points and his department has achieved national accreditation. 

Property insurance rates in Gwinnett could drop a bit as a result of an improved fire department rating by the Insurance Services Office, or ISO. Some insurance companies use the rating, known as the Public Protection Classification, in setting annual premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties. Chief Snyder said homeowners and business owners should contact their insurers and let them know the rating has improved.

The department scored 87.7 out of 100, compared to its score of 61.7 in 1996. The evaluation includes fire department performance, available water supply and communications systems. The Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services department, which has 916 employees and 31 fire stations, responded to 78,661 emergency calls last year.

Fire Chief Casey Snyder said, “We’ve been working hard for the past several years to improve the rating by enhancing our service delivery, community risk reduction and training. We’ve also opened new stations and added more fire apparatus to our fleet.”

Board Chairman Charlotte Nash said this is good news for Gwinnett property owners. “The improved ISO rating reflects coordinated efforts by many departments, especially fire, water resources and police,” she said. “It also teaches us to never underestimate the value of SPLOST. With the support of Gwinnett voters, we are able to improve our public safety infrastructure and equipment as well as fund road improvements that help our units respond more quickly to emergencies.”

Snyder also announced that his department recently became one of only 236 agencies globally to achieve accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and the Center for Public Safety Excellence Inc. “This demonstrates our commitment to continual improvement and providing the highest quality service to the communities we serve,” he said.