Chief’s Corner: Better ISO rating means better insurance rates | SierraSun.com

Chief’s Corner: Better ISO rating means better insurance rates

Mike Brown

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Chief's Corner" is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.

Our fire district was recently surveyed by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to determine our current Public Protection Classification (PPC).

Due to the exemplary efforts of our personnel and the Incline Village General Improvement District Public Works staff during the survey process, the board of directors and I would like to respectfully share with our community that we attained a Public Protection Classification 2.

We have been rated as a Classification 3 for several years — prior to that we were rated at a 6.

To put into perspective what this classification number means, only 750 fire departments in the entire nation have a PPC 2 rating (ISO has extensive information on more than 47,000 fire-response jurisdictions).

This new ISO classification demonstrates that with dedicated and committed personnel striving to do everything possible, within our budgetary means, this fire district is providing the highest possible level of service delivery to our community.

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To better understand the PPC program, the ISO collects information on fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data using our Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS).

They then assign a PPC from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program doesn't meet ISO's minimum criteria.

By classifying communities' ability to suppress fires, ISO helps the communities evaluate their public fire-protection services. The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training.

And by securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services.

ISO's goal is to re-evaluate public fire-protection services every five years. Our fire district will continue to do all possible to maintain, if not reduce, our classification now and into the future.