The White County Commissioners will consider a request to combine the Central View and Mt. Gilead fire districts later this month.
White County Steering Committee B approved the request Monday night. The request comes from the two fire districts themselves. White County Emergency Management Director Matt McBride said the merger would have a large impact on both district’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) ratings. That rating shows how well-equipped fire departments are to put out fires in their community.
“We will able to share and get full ISO credit for their arson investigator versus our arson investigator also,” McBride said. “Plus, we will get full ISO credit for our responses, so if I respond to Mt. Gilead or vice versa and they come to the Central View area, now we are all on one roster so we’ll get full ISO credit for that manpower.”
Department representatives said while the merger will not drastically alter day-to-day operations for the the two districts, both will save time and money by pooling certain resources.
The increase in ISO ratings would help the district acquire new grants, and the combination would allow them to save on administrative costs that both districts currently manage independently.
If the plan goes through, neither fire department would be changing names and funding would be largely unchanged from how it is now. The district lines would also remain mostly untouched, as the two districts would combine by erasing the two lines dividing them.
“I think this will help with recruitment as far as reaching out a little bit,” McBride said.