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Deerfield Township residents should note that Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has issued a Public Protection Summary Report changing the Public Protection Classification for most of the township to a “5”, effective February 1, 2011, improved from the previous rating of a “9”.

This improvement in the rating may have a positive effect by lowering rates homeowners are charged for insurance policies. Homeowners should inform their insurance coverage company of the change and check to see if there is a change in premiums. Several residents have reported a savings of well over $100, some more than $200.

The survey work by ISO develops an analysis of the fire suppression services. The ISO Public Protection Classification Program (PPC) plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. Most insurers use PPC information when deciding coverage and prices on personal and commercial property insurance. ISO generally assigns a Class 10 rating to properties beyond five miles from a fire station and the new “5” rating applies to those properties in Deerfield within the five mile range from the Township’s Fire Department at 3032 S. Winn Road.

Deerfield Township has been working for more than six years to lower the rating. The evaluation is based on training abilities, equipment and dispatch speed. Two new water tenders were purchased, in 2005 and 2008 respectively, as well as a utility truck, new equipment and six new dry hydrants. There are now nine dry hydrants scattered throughout the township, where trucks can connect to pipes to draw water from a nearby body of water. It takes two and one-half minutes to fill one of the 3,500 gallon trucks.

Township Supervisor Tim Murphy and Fire Chief Ryan Martin led the efforts to upgrade the fire department, getting support from many others, including the many volunteer firemen. The efforts included replacing one tanker which had been an old milk truck and another that came from the state road commission before having its dump box removed and replaced with a water tank. Both were well-worn when they were purchased.

There are 2,040 fire departments in Michigan. Only 116 of them have a better ISO Public Protection Classification better than Deerfield Township.