1. #1
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    Default Question on the ISO Dept. rating system.

    I would welcome any information, opinions, or even better, personal experience of firefighters and officers who have knowledge of the Fire Department ISO rating system. Such as how often does the ISO rate a given dept? Do city adminstrations play games with staffing levels when ratings are done? Hereís why I'm curious.

    Iím considering writing a letter to the Editor of my local newspaper. Iím not a firefighter. Nor would I call myself a Buff. Iím a citizen concerned about the low staffing levels and station closings in my community. I would like to write an informed and concise letter.

    Several well-written letters from firefighters have appeared in the newspaper. These men have based their views on fact and experience. However I find the paperís Editorial staff tends to rely on the same trite response of, ďWell, we canít afford to have a fire station on every corner.Ē Or, ďTough choices have to be made in this harsh economic reality.Ē

    Itís certainly true that budgets are tight. But no letter from any firefighter has even remotely suggested such an extreme measure that a fire station be placed on every corner. ďMe thinks I smell sarcasm coming from the Editor.Ē

    This leads me to my questions. If these staffing cuts become permanent, how does this effect the ISO (Insurance Service Offices) rating of a Fire Department? And thus the cost handed down to the property owner paying insurance. My understanding is that the 1 through 10 rating of a department determines the price scheduling of insurance on properties in the community a department protects.

    Given the choice of placing money into the hands of firefighters who protect me, my family, and my property, versus placing money in the hands of large wealthy insurance executives, guess who I want to hand it to and me.
    Last edited by MisterMongo; 04-02-2004 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    It may not change anything. For many insurance companies an ISO 1, 2, 3 or 4 is the same rate, and until it gets in the 7 + range the rates for residents are not that different. Staffing is just one part of the rating.
    Talk to your insurance company for details on rates.

  3. #3
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    Smile The Complex Question................

    I'd like to help, but there are so many variables that advice germane to my area may be useless to someone a few hundred miles away. Water Supply is a big part, as well as recordkeeping. Types of apparatus is a relevant area, but the staffing is not always that important. I'd try your area's insurance companies to see if there is any info available.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Complex Question................

    Originally posted by hwoods
    I'd like to help, but there are so many variables that advice germane to my area may be useless to someone a few hundred miles away. Water Supply is a big part, as well as recordkeeping. Types of apparatus is a relevant area, but the staffing is not always that important. I'd try your area's insurance companies to see if there is any info available.
    Staffing not important? Then why does ISO want to see 12 on-duty firefighters and an IC on a first alarm assignment...

    Of course, I will admit that staffing isn't everything. My department's class 3 rating came in part because of a VERY strong hydrant system.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question on the ISO Dept. rating system.

    Originally posted by MisterMongo
    Such as how often does the ISO rate a given dept?
    Depends on the size of the population protected.

    >40,000 every 10 years
    <40,000 every 15 years

    Do city adminstrations play games with staffing levels when ratings are done?
    I'm sure some have probably tried, but ISO wants to see at least three years of written records for everything, including staffing.

    If these staffing cuts become permanent, how does this effect the ISO (Insurance Service Offices) rating of a Fire Department?
    It generally wouldn't affect the departemnt until the next scheduled grading. Only the Fire Chief of a department, or the mayor (or the city manager depending on the type of local government you have) can request a new rating outside of the normal schedule.

    And thus the cost handed down to the property owner paying insurance. My understanding is that the 1 through 10 rating of a department determines the price scheduling of insurance on properties in the community a department protects.
    Just for the fire insurance premiums.
    www.gvfd.org

  6. #6
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    Go to www.isomitigation.com. Click on the Public Protection link. This should answer most of your questions.

    Good Luck
    IACOJ

  7. #7
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    Thank You all. I've got some studying to do on this subject. You gave me some food for thought. And thanks for you do everyday.

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