MFD maintains high ISO rating
The Merrill Fire Department was recently notified that they have maintained their Class 2 Public Protection Rating through the Insurance Services Office. The classification by Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), known as the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, assesses the fire-protection efforts in a particular community. In March, an auditor from the ISO met with fire officials to review the fire protection for the City of Merrill and Towns of Scott, Merrill, and Rock Falls.
ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The company then assigns a Public Protection Classification 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. In 2015, the fire department improved from a Class 3 rating to the current Class 2 rating. According to 2020 published ISO information, there are 1,729 fire departments out of 39,850 nationally who have earned the Class 2 rating. Nationally, Class 1 and Class 2 PPC-Rated fire departments account for just over 5% of all fire departments in the United States. This is quite an accomplishment for a small career fire department.
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. For example, a local insurance company executive confirmed there would be a 4.2% savings on property insurance for their clients who had their fire department improve from a Class 3 to a Class 2 rating. The executive also encouraged city leaders to share this information with prospective businesses who are considering Merrill as a new location.
“While the audit process was relatively painless, it still took staff plenty of time to prepare,” Merrill Fire Chief Josh Klug stated as part of a press release issued by the department, on Monday afternoon, June 8.
“Many reports and data needed to be submitted for the audit including significant information about the water distribution system in the city from the Merrill Water Utility. For these reasons, the Merrill Fire Department would like to specifically recognize the work of MFD Administrative Assistant Jana Johnson, MFD Battalion Chiefs Phil Skoug, Scott Krause, Jon Leiskau, and Scott Krause, and finally Merrill GIS Coordinator Kate Drewek.
“We are ecstatic to maintain our Class 2 rating,” Klug adds. “We know what this can mean for our local businesses. Plus it’s a great way to confirm that our fire department is operating a very high level and provides value to our community,” he continued. The fire department will likely be audited again in 5 years. Until then, the Merrill Fire Department will continue to strive towards maintenance of their Class 2 rating.”