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Just how low can the ISO go?

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By The Staff

By DAVID DOONAN

Roane Newspapers

Bringing down insurance premiums by reducing the county’s ISO rating is an objective of the Roane County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

One step that might help was unveiled last Monday to members of Roane County’s volunteer fire departments.

The Turbo Draft is a pumping device that can make any body of water — creek, swimming pool, lake, retention pond and more — a water source to fight fires.

It would make fires in many areas of rural Roane County easier to fight, eliminating the need to truck in water.

The Roane County Department of Emergency Management recently bought five of these devices at a cost of $2,300 each.

That’s one for each of the county’s volunteer fire departments.

Volunteers from the departments were trained in the device’s use at Rockwood Beach.

“We hope to have an ISO rating of 6 by 2010,” said Emergency Management Director Howie Rose. The current ISO rating is 9.

Lower ISO ratings affect how insurance companies set premium rates for homes and businesses.

If the rates are lower, more businesses will want to locate in the county.