The Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) recently earned the Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) top rating for their national Public Protection Classification (PPC) Program, an accomplishment achieved by less than 1 percent of fire departments across the nation.
“This recognition is a reflection of the importance that Long Beach continues to place on public safety,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We are committed to delivering quality city services at this level of excellence to ensure our residents and businesses are safe. I congratulate our Fire Department, as well as the Water Department and Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications, on this achievement.”
LBFD received a CLASS 1 rating in this year’s evaluation, indicating superior fire protection based on results from a comprehensive evaluation conducted by the ISO. The evaluation considers several factors when rating a fire department and their fire suppression features, including emergency communications and systems, water supply, location of fire hydrants, department staffing levels, training, location of fire stations, community outreach and fire prevention. As part of LBFD’s overall evaluation, the Long Beach Water Department and Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications, which oversee water supply systems and dispatch and emergency communications systems, respectively, were also evaluated.
Out of roughly 39,000 fire departments nationwide, there are 474 that currently hold an ISO CLASS 1 rating. Of the 877 participating fire departments in California, only 44 have an ISO CLASS 1 rating.
“Obtaining an ISO CLASS 1 designation is a significant achievement for our fire department and our city. It is a testament to the tenacity, resiliency and professionalism of the men and women who selflessly serve our community,” said Fire Chief Xavier Espino. “This is not something to be taken lightly; an ISO CLASS 1 designation is special and exclusive. We must build on our success by continuing to listen and learn from one another so that we continue to respond to the evolving needs of the community we proudly serve.”
ISO’s PPC Program is important to communities and fire departments alike. The program plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies, as PPC information is used by most U.S. insurers – including the largest ones – to determine which businesses to write, coverages to offer, or prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance. As a result, communities whose PPC improves, like Long Beach, may get lower insurance prices. PPC also provides fire departments with a valuable benchmark and is used by many departments as a valuable tool when planning, budgeting and justifying fire protection improvements.
More information about the ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program is available on its website.