Alsen-St. Irma Lee Fire Department hopes for better inspection rating

ALSEN, LA (WAFB) - For the last 12 months homeowners in Alsen have been protected by a fire department with a 10 rating. The 10 rating is the worst a department can receive. The 1 through 10 rating set by a private company hired by insurance carriers takes into account things like the number of firefighters on staff, equipment and water availability.

"The better your fire protection, the better rates people see in insurance premiums - both commercial and residential, so they're a very big driving force as to how people provide fire protection," said Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning.

Alsen-St. Irma Lee Fire Chief Charles A. Jackson inherited a department with a 10 rating nearly a year ago, but he's confident changes have been made to improve that.

"Past several months we've done a lot of work trying to get our manpower up, which is one of the areas we had major issues with so trying to get that in place," said Jackson.

Jackson along with local and state leaders shared that message with the public on Tuesday in an informational meeting.

"I want to gain your trust back, so this is what we're doing - making sure we're putting everything in place and not taking anything lightly, so right now I'm in the driver's seat and I'm putting myself in a position to be held accountable," said Jackson to the public.

Once the rating inspection is completed, Chief Jackson says he expects it will be about 90 days before the new rating is released. If there is significant improvement in the new rating, homeowners will need to check with insurance companies to see if premium reductions apply.

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