Staunton Fire & Rescue Department’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating will improve from a Class 5 to a Class 3 rating effective October 1, 2014. Out of 776 rated Virginia fire departments, there are only 11 Class 3 rated Virginia municipal departments. This rating improvement for the City puts Staunton in the top 2.5% of rated Virginia agencies.
Every five years, ISO evaluates participating fire departments on the basis of three primary criteria and assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPC), using a numeric scale ranging from 1 to 10. A fire department receiving a Class 1 rating represents an exemplary fire suppression program, and a Class 10 rating indicates that a department’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. A community’s PPC rating is evaluated based on:
- Emergency Communications—receiving and handling fire alarms including telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing and dispatching systems.
- Fire Department—including equipment, staffing, training and geographic distribution of fire companies to minimize potential loss.
- Water Supply System—including condition and maintenance of hydrants, alternative water supply operations and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires up to 3,500 gallons per minute.
The PPC rating also reflects a municipal fire department’s community risk reduction efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education, and fire investigation activities.
“This is a very progressive accomplishment for the Staunton Fire and Rescue Department and our community,” said Chief Scott Garber. “We work extremely hard and are dedicated to protecting and serving the Staunton community.”
Chief Garber also recognized the contribution of city firefighters to the improved rating. “I give credit to our personnel for their increased workload and meticulous documentation of the survey requirements. Furthering their professional education to also meet the higher standards could not have been accomplished without hours of commitment made by each member of the agency. Having all the pieces of the ISO’s PPC put together takes a complete team effort, and we’re very proud of the end result.”
What does this mean for the City and its residents?
The Public Protection Classification program recognizes the efforts of communities to provide fire protection services for citizens and property owners. A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. Insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance—generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection. By offering economic benefits for communities that invest in their firefighting services, the program provides an additional incentive for improving and maintaining public fire protection.
The program also provides help for fire departments and other public officials as they plan, budget for, and justify improvements. The most significant benefit of the PPC program is its effect on losses. Statistical data on insurance losses bears out the relationship between excellent fire protection—as measured by the PPC program—and low fire losses. PPC helps communities prepare to fight fires effectively.
For more information about the PPC program, visit www.isomitigation.com/ppc/0000/ppc0001.html.
Lead by Fire Chief R. Scott Garber, the City of Staunton’s Fire and Rescue Department is dedicated to: Our Community; Our Profession and Each Other. The City’s fire and rescue department consist of 27 full-time, 15 part-time, and 5 volunteer personnel. These dedicated fire services professionals diligently serve the 24,350 citizens of Staunton and protect the city’s 19.98 square miles. For additional information about the City of Staunton’s Fire and Rescue Department, please visit: http://www.staunton.va.us/directory/departments-a-g/fire-rescue.