Fire chief to disuss new ISO rating at town hall meeting

A discussion on the Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department’s recent upgrade to a Class 2 ISO rating and what it means for residents will be led by Fire Chief Shauwn Howell at Mayor Debe Hollingsworth’s fourth town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the convention center’s banquet hall.

The new classification, which will be effective Aug. 1, puts the city in elite company. There are approximately 1,000 fire departments within the state and Pine Bluff is among only 15 with a Class 2 rating, which will translate into lower insurance premiums.

Howell told the city council last week that the enhancement is a result of a team effort among the fire and other city departments with the support of residents and elected officials. However, he primarily credits “the outstanding work” of the city’s firefighters for the achievement.

Hollingsworth will direct the town hall meeting. She’ll be joined by city council members, other elected officials, city department heads and volunteers in addressing the public and answering questions. Attendees who have registered to do so will also speak.

Deputy Chief of Police Susie Powell will present up update on SAFE Team activities and reveal the next targeted area for the program.

Other items to be discussed will include:

• Hollingsworth’s new Mayor for a Day youth program;

• The Tuesday, May 21, ministers’ prayer luncheon;

• The city’s summer youth employment program; and

• The city’s academic and cultural enrichment program, which is being supported with $35,000 in contributions from local businesses.