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Thread: ISO ratings

  1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question ISO ratings

    I am currently on a committe to prepare for our next visit from ISO. I was wondering what other FD's were doing or have done about ISO in the past.

  2. #2
    Sand Creek Lynn
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm an ISO virgin also.
    Heading up our departments first rerating in 40? years.
    I know a little. And am learning a lot.
    Maybe I could help some. Especially on rural water shuttle supply.

    And you may be able to help me.

    Get in touch if you would like.


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Well, we had our last one in 1990. Our guide (God knows where we got it from, I think the ISO) says they come every 10-15 years. Then again, we think the damn thing is outdated, so I got in touch with ISO and we are ordering a new one to see if it is different.

    Anywho, there are two ratings for my town, one for my side, one for the other. Our rating is a 5-9 and the other side is 6-9.

    My area is best described as rural/suburban. Mostly a mix of the two.

    What are you doing as far as review and changes? Any other suggestions you can make?

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Wow! Where to start? I.S.O. is scheduled to be at our district in 3 weeks. We are attempting to drop our rating from a Class 4 to a Class 1. While I'm no expert on I.S.O. by any stretch of the imagination, maybe I can give you some pointers and others can fill in the gaps.

    To start with, get as much information from I.S.O. as possible. First and foremost is the batch list for your area. This will identify your needed fire flows for your particular buildings. There are several books out there regarding I.S.O. ratings. Hickey has one and Larry Stevens has one that you can download for free. The amount of information from these sources is incredible and can point you in the right direction.

    I'll use my district to give you some examples of how we have prepared for our rating. We began this process over two years ago. We dusted off the paperwork from our last rating to find areas where we needed to improve. Priorities were identified and assigned to personnel to complete. We purchased equipment so that all our engine, service and reserve apparatus get the most points possible. We revamped our training program to include everything required from ISO.

    Preplans for our 1200 commercial occupancies were completely redone and are now on every apparatus and in every computer for quick reference. Responses were changed in order to meet ISO minimums for our Needed Fire Flows. Our last two projects are flow testing in our high hazard areas and documenting our tanker shuttle on tape and paper for the ISO evaluator.

    Next Sunday we will be flowing 2000 g.p.m. sustained with a tanker shuttle. We have been training on this for some time now trying to streamline our operations again to meet the I.S.O. requirements.

    When we sent the letter to ISO requesting our rerating, we sent along 23 pounds of paperwork documenting our upgrades since the last time we were evaluated.

    Well, that's about all I can remember for now. If you have any questions e-mail me and I'll try to answer them. Anyone else out there have any suggestions?

    Good luck,

    "RESCUE"-The firefighters that firefighters call!

  5. #5
    Chief Taylor
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I just fininshed re-rating with ISO a couple of weeks ago. In addition to the above pointers. I would sugest having the following information readily availible and complete prior to them showing up for your rating:
    1-All training records and roster is current.
    2-Copies of all attendance records for the previous year for training.
    3-Complete vehicle and equipment inventories.
    4-Complete hose testing records.
    5-Structure Response records showing numbers of firefighters that responded on each call.
    6-Fire hydrant maintenance records and flow testing
    7-Acurate number of fire hydrants within your area.
    There are many other parts of an ISO rating, but this should start you in the proper direction.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    If you want a copy of my book based on helping several hundred departments with and without water systems get everything from Class 5's to Class 1's paid and volunteer simply go to

    It is free.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    >It is free.

    Funny thing is, we have that and I think we paid for it...

    Anywho, seeing how it is your book, I figure I can get the answers right from the source now.

    In your book, you refer to the 1980 edition of the FSRS. On page 12(?), you say everyone is rated by that. Because you said 1980 and some other small issues, we were thinking that the book was outdated. I had sent an email to ISO asking what was the current version of the FSRS. I pasted their reply below in quotes:

    "The current edition of the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule is 8/98."

    So my question to you is, how up to date is your book? When we were going through the "Handling and Receiving Calls" section, alot of it seemed outdated to us.

    I'll look forward to your answer.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I got an order form from ISO for the Fire Suppression ratings schedule. It costs $52.50. It is a manual that states the guidelines and calculations used to determine the fire class codes.

    Is the manual the same one as Larry Steven's?

    If it is, do you get additional info when you order this manual?

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    ...Funny thing is, we have that and I think we paid for it...

    Not possible, you bought the 1980 rating schedule from ISO which is exactly the same as the 1998,

    ...Anywho, seeing how it is your book, I figure I can get the answers right from the source now. ,,,

    In your book, you refer to the 1980 edition of the FSRS. On page 12(?), you say everyone is rated by that. Because you said 1980 and some other small issues, we were thinking

    ...So my question to you is, how up to date is your book? ...

    Mine is updated monthly. I help with 5 to 10 ratings a month. Everytime I find a secret ISO document or rule I publish it.

    ..Is the manual the same one as Larry Steven's?...

    Nope, theirs is 52 pages only 28 apply to your town, mine has 244 pages of how to apply the schedule, get a better grade, success stories, and tricks of the trade.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Thanks for your response. That answers alot of my questions.

    Sorry if I offended you in any way by asking those questions.

  11. #11
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest


    ADZE - Short of getting Larry out to help you, his book is the best help you'll find.

    You can try to keep up with the suppression schedule but it can be confusing and there is no explanation for some of it - and no hints on what ISO will accept.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    To Larry Stevens:
    There is a Word doc and an RTF file on your website. The word doc has a newer creation date, but only has 142 page and doesn't have a section 15 in the TOC. The RTF has 226 pages.

    Is the Word doc that many pages shorter on purpose, or did it lose some pages by accident?

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