SANDY POINT - Homeowners in the Sandy Point area could be paying less for fire insurance as the Washington State Survey and Ratings Bureau recently upgraded the local fire department's rating.
Fire Chief Jim Petrie of Whatcom County Fire District 17 said the department's fire-suppression rating improved to class 5 from class 6. A fire-suppression rating - which goes from 0 to 10 (no fire protection) - takes into account the area's water system, fire department staffing, the amount of firefighting equipment, quality of firefighter training and response times to 911 alarms.
"We're very proud of the rating," Petrie said, noting that the all-volunteer fire department had an 8 rating in 2004. He cited improvement in "all of the above" categories.
The rating change is effective Aug.1, and Petrie urged area homeowners to contact their insurance companies.
Petrie is the only paid firefighter in a department of 20 volunteers who serve about 3,000 people in Sandy Point and part of the Lummi Reservation.
Fire District 17 has two fire stations, with three engines, two ambulances and two support vehicles.
Reach Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or email@example.com.