- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - The Property Insurance Association of Louisiana says Lake Charles will maintain its Class 2 fire protection rating for the next few years. By keeping the Class 2 rating, which the city has maintained since the 1980s, residents won’t see a drastic increase in insurance rates.

Since 2014, the American Press reports (https://bit.ly/1eOXZNb ) PIAL has made two trips to Lake Charles to gather the data needed to determine the city’s rating. The first visit ended with PIAL requesting a more accurate map of the city’s fire hydrants. The final rating was delivered to city officials earlier this week.

“We did manage to keep our Class 2 rating. The parish was also able to keep their Class 4 rating. Basically it’s good for another five years unless they decide to come back in 2017 due to the economic growth,” District Fire Chief Chris Carroll said. “It’s a possibility they may come back instead of waiting the whole five years.”

The evaluations cover a number of areas, including water flow, department size and placement, emergency plans for buildings across the city, and equipment and vehicle upkeep.

To maintain or improve a rating, Carroll said, the city and the Fire Department have to work together. In the point system the final ratings are based on, the department has things it can control and there are areas more reliant on the actions of the city, he said.

For department officials, the preparation for the evaluation is a ceaseless endeavor. Carroll compared it to the Super Bowl for department employees. The parts of the rating process in need of improvement are constantly worked on within the five-year window between evaluations, he said.

“We prepare for the Super Bowl every five years hoping that we win and we were able to win this year. It’s a great thing for the citizens because we know the insurance rating is based on the rating we get,” Carroll said. “This is a process that never stops for us. It’s not completely time for us to celebrate. It’s time for us to get ready for the next rating.”

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Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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