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Malta fire department marks 60 years

The Malta Ridge Volunteer Fire Company is celebrating 60 years of service to the residents of Malta.

In addition to providing vital emergency fire and rescue services, the fire company has played an important role in supporting community activities such as fire prevention programs, neighborhood visits by Santa and Halloween parades for children.

The demographic of Malta has changed significantly from a rural farm community to a suburban center, said Fire Chief Peter Shaw. "Malta's continued rapid growth will challenge our department as we plan for residential, commercial and high-tech development in our community."

Malta Ridge Fire Department is staffed by a group of 56 volunteers who have the distinction of being the only fire company in Saratoga County to earn an Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Class 3 Fire Suppression rating. Only 5 percent of all the fire departments in the country have earned a Class 3 rating or better.

The ISO public protection classification is considered the gold standard in the insurance industry for evaluating a community's fire prevention and suppression capabilities.

This system is used to determine what homeowners and businesses will pay for the fire protection portion of their homeowners insurance. The lower the rating, the less you pay for your fire insurance.

Homeowners in the Malta Ridge's Fire district save 10-20 percent on their fire insurance premium compared with other towns in Saratoga County. A typical home valued at $250,000 in Malta saves approximately $140 annually. It is estimated this provides a townwide savings of more than $400,000 in insurance premiums for property owners each and every year.

"The most remarkable aspect is that we earned this noteworthy rating for our community while holding the line on spending," said Richard Jennings, president of Malta Ridge Fire Department. "The Malta fire tax rate is 50 percent less than the average fire tax rate in Saratoga County. Our operating budget is half of what similar-sized towns in Saratoga County spend for fire protection. The residents and businesses in Malta are realizing tangible benefits from our hard work. Our highly trained and motivated members are to be commended."

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