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News | Dec. 5, 2022

DLA Installation Management Susquehanna Fire Department achieves ISO Class 1 Fire Rating 

By Diana Dawa DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Susquehanna Fire Department was awarded the ISO, or Insurance Services Office, Public Protection Classification: 01/1X for its high standards and commitment to community risk reduction.

“In the municipal world ISO Class I ratings are a big deal,” said Barry Shughart, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna fire chief. “It shows the community that we care about their fire safety by investing in the people, training and infrastructure to lower fire risks.  When you combine that with our community risk reduction program, the installation is sitting pretty when it comes to fire prevention.”

An ISO fire rating is a score provided to fire departments and insurance companies by the Insurance Services Office. The score reflects how prepared a community and area is for fires. While it mainly focuses on the local fire departments and water supply, there are other factors that contribute to an area's score.

DLA Installation Management was informed via letter congratulating the organization on its public protection classification survey and rating result.

“ISO has completed its analysis of the structural fire suppression delivery system provided in your community resulting in an ISO Public Protection Classification: 01/1X. ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. In fact, most U.S. insurers – including the largest ones – use PPC information as part of their decision- making when deciding what business to write, coverages to offer or prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance,” the letter stated.

The letter shared that “each insurance company independently determines the premiums it charges its policyholders. The way an insurer uses ISO’s information on public fire protection may depend on several things – the company’s fire-loss experience, ratemaking methodology, underwriting guidelines and its marketing strategy.”

“Through ongoing research and loss experience analysis, we identified additional differentiation in fire loss experience within our PPC program, which resulted in the revised classifications. We based the differing fire loss experience on the fire suppression capabilities of each community. The new classifications will improve the predictive value for insurers while benefiting both commercial and residential property owners. We’ve published the new classifications as ‘X’ and ‘Y’ — formerly the ‘9’ and ‘8B’ portion of the split classification, respectively.”

The letter also pointed out a few key points about the ISO Class 1 Rating:

    - ISO, or Insurance Services Office, rating is meant to score a fire department’s ability to protect the community.
    - ISO is an independent organization that scores fire department’s on how they are doing against its organization’s standards.
    - The process includes data collection on the following areas:
            o Emergency Communications
            o Fire Department covering personnel, capabilities, training, equipment
            o Water supply – The water supply system is the single biggest contributor to lower scores
            o Community Risk Reduction
    - While this process is looking at the fire department, the score isn’t solely based upon the fire department’s response to the ISO survey. It really emphasizes the whole community as part of the overall rating.

And the benefits of achieving an ISO rating include:

    - Badge of Honor – a lower score (1-10) reflects well on the fire department.
    - ISO Fire Rating demonstrates a commitment to excellence verified by a third party.
    - The Class 1 rating is a coveted rating that clearly demonstrates that you are doing what you need to do to help the community you protect.
    - Third party review of department against best practices to give your department a review of how well you compare to your peers

“Essentially, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna’s commitment to community fire protection was evaluated by the Insurance Services Organization against a host of industry best practices,” reiterated Shughart. “The result of the evaluation showed that we maintain a high commitment to fire protection, and it signifies that we have and continue to maintain a high commitment to our community which has a direct correlation to the reduction of fire losses over time.”