ELLIS COUNTY, Kansas – When a fire breaks out in rural Ellis county, it’s a community affair.
The area towns, rural and county departments all come together to fight the blaze.
“I think it’s great, you know we all train together we do, we just have a lot of camaraderie together, that it’s a pleasure to work with the other counties and districts,” said Verlin Hammerschmidt, Victoria’s Fire Chief.
That teamwork, along with more training sessions for firefighters, are also bolstered by new equipment.
The Ellis County rural fire department recently bought two more tankers, one for the city of Victoria and one for the city of Ellis, which gives that a greater water capacity when they go out and fight fires.
“Water is more available, we didn’t have to wait on trucks to get filled up or wait there and wait for a tanker to come,” said Ellis County Rural Fire Chief Dick Klaus
All that work led to a better rating by the insurance service office, for fast response times.
That means lower rates for area homeowners and confidence in their emergency crews.
“That’s wonderful, they do work very hard, they’re on top of it, we’ve had them here in the gas station and their alarms will go off, and they’ll drop whatever they’re doing and go straight to the station,” says Kelli Riley, who lives in Victoria.
For the fire chief, it’s a source of pride and safety.
“It’s a great accomplishment for the rural fire department, to get these lower insurance ratings and you know thanks to the city of Ellis and the city of Victoria too,” says Klaus.
The new insurance rates will take effect on August first, rural homeowners in Ellis county should contact their insurance agents about the change before that date.