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Hall's new fire station will increase protection

POSTED: June 18, 2008 5:01 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA/The Times

Lt. Bo Farmer, left, of Gainesville speaks with Doug Blankenbeker, an electrical engineer from Roswell, at the new Fire Station 2 Thursday in Clermont. The station opened its doors Sunday, helping to lower the insurance premiums for homeowners living nearby.

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Firefighters are still settling in after their first week at Fire Station 2’s new home in Clermont while neighbors are enjoying lower insurance premiums.

The new station is the first one in the city of Clermont.

Clermont was previously served by Fire Station 2 at its old location on Brookton-Lula Road.

The new facility, located on Hulsey Road in Clermont, opened Sunday.

Operational Lt. Bo Farmer said the new building is bigger and has more space for fire trucks and workout equipment.

"It’s wonderful," he said. "Everything here is new. It’s fantastic."

Farmer said the community has given the firefighters a "warm reception."

"We’ve had some people in the community just come by and drop off a fruit basket and tell us how they’re glad we’re up here and little bit closer," he said.

And neighbors have good reason to like the new location of Fire Station 2.

Some Clermont residents lived more than five miles from the location of the old fire station, making their homeowner’s insurance more expensive than others in Hall County.

A fire insurance rating, or ISO rating, is dependent on where a home is located in relation to a fire station.

The homes affected by Fire Station 2’s move previously had an ISO rating of 10, according to Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell. They are now a 4.

Before the new fire station was built, a $150,000 home more than five miles from a fire station would pay a $1,500 insurance premium. Now that same home would only pay a $450 premium, Kimbrell said.

"It will more than cut their premium in half. We’re saving them over $1,000 a year in the insurance premium and it only costs them $98 (in taxes) for us to be there," he said.

Fire Station 15, still under construction, will be located at Clarks Bridge Road and Autry Road.

Kimbrell said Station 15 will cover the gap between the new Station 2 and Station 7.

"Now all those people will get that Class 4 rating," he said.



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