Poor fire rating sends premiums soaring

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 11:00am

Alsen is a small community in between Scotlandville and Baker.

Tuesday, it's still struggling to provide good fire protection. But while the department rebuilds, residents are fuming over insurance costs that have nearly doubled.

Chief Ronald Hives said he inherited the problems of short water supply and manpower that gave his department the worst rating possible.

But since August, he said he beefed-up the equipment and was able to get almost twenty contract fire-fighters from surrounding departments who have signed on to respond to any issues in Alsen.

He still faces the problem of not enough volunteers who live in the community.

Hives met with the fire department board Tuesday to go over ideas. Homeowners hope they can come up with solutions, as they brace for the worst.

"The prices are just ridiculous. It's a grave injustice to the people of this community," said Sharon Batieste, an Alsen homeowner. "We're all home owners. Not a lot of renters up here."

Batieste said in her 45 years of living in Alsen, the insurance costs have never been this high.

The easiest solution to improve the rating is to sign up more volunteers. Anyone interested is asked to contact the Alsen fire department.

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