ISO Class 1 Rating
The City of Watauga Fire Department has earned the Insurance Services Office (ISO) top rating of Class 1. This rating has been achieved by less than 1 percent of fire departments nationwide. The ISO currently evaluates over 50,000 fire departments nationwide with only 300 earning the Class 1 Rating. The Watauga Fire Department had previously earned the Class 3 Rating in 2012. This rating reflects the hard work and dedication of all the Watauga fire fighters and their commitment to save lives and property.
Fire departments across the nation are rated by the ISO to determine a Public Protection Classification (PPC) for individual cities or counties. This rating is published by the ISO and used by insurance companies to determine insurance rates. The ISO Schedule develops a PPC number on a relative scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the very best and 10 representing less than minimum recognized fire protection. Most U.S. insurers of homes and business property use the PPC in calculating premiums. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC.
When the ISO evaluates a fire department's capabilities it uses a system called the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) which employs nationally accepted standards developed by such organizations as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International. The FSRS considers three main areas of a community's fire suppression capabilities including emergency communications (911 call center), the fire department, and water supply. In addition, it includes a Community Risk Reduction section that recognizes community efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education and fire investigation.
Key elements considered when evaluating a fire department include response capabilities (deployment analysis) which includes adequate staffing of fire service personnel on engine crews and ladder companies, fire station distribution (location and coverage), appropriate apparatus and equipment, training, water supplies, organizational structure, communications and building/fire prevention codes and their enforcement.The Watauga Fire Department's ability to earn the rating of a Class 1 is a reflection of the City of Watauga's commitment to provide quality public safety services to the citizens, businesses and visitors of Watauga.