Fire Chief Casey Curtis announced today that the GTFD has improved its ISO rating from a Class 3 to a Class 2 effective September 1, 2019. The rating, provided by Insurance Services Office, can affect the cost of homeowners’ and commercial insurance, with a lower rating meaning lower premiums. Insurance companies have 90 days to respond to the lowered rating, meaning that home and business owners could begin to see changes in their insurance costs in December.
GTFD’s ISO rating improved to Class 3 after the ISO’s 2009 Public Protection Classification (PPC) survey. The department’s score increased by more than 5 points, from 77.57 to 82.55, since that time. An ISO rating of Class 2 puts the GTFD in the top 3.5% of fire departments across the country.
The rating is based on many factors but the 4 key elements are – the department’s ability to receive and respond to fire alarms; the fire department’s first-alarm response and initial attack capabilities; the water supply system; and divergence, which is defined as the disparity between the effectiveness of the fire department and water supply scores.
“Our improved rating can be attributed to a number of factors, including improved staffing levels, company training, an outstanding fleet, municipal water supply and improvements with technology and the emergency communications center,” Chief Curtis said. “And this can all be attributed to the support we have from the community.”
The ISO is a leading source of information about insurance risk that gauges the fire protection capability of local fire departments to respond to structure fires. The ISO collects information on a community’s public fire protection and analyzes the data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. It then assigns a rating from 1 to 10, with Class 1 representing the best public protection and Class 10 indicating no recognized protection. Besides the potential effect on insurance premiums, PPC data are useful in strategic planning, budgeting and justifying fire protection improvements.