Manhattan, IL - The Manhattan Fire Protection District (MFPD), in cooperation with local water services and Laraway Communications Center, has earned the highest Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating it awards, Fire Chief Steve Malone announced Nov. 5.
Manhattan’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) has been upgraded from a Class 2 rating to a Class 1, which indicates superior fire protection, as the result of an evaluation completed by ISO.
The Class 1 distinction, held by only 393 out of 39,000 fire departments throughout the country, and one of only 26 out of 2,000 fire departments in the state, places Manhattan among the highest-rated fire departments in the nation.
“Through this evaluation, ISO has recognized MFPD’s efforts in reducing risk and loss in the community,” Malone said. “The achievement of a Class 1 Public Protection Classification clearly demonstrates that the MFPD is continually seeking ways to raise the level of service, excellence and commitment the fire district has to the public safety of our citizens.”
The new rating is expected to benefit both commercial and residential property owners through potential insurance premium reductions.
In 2019, Manhattan Fire Protection District began an aggressive one-year program to improve its PPC rating with a variety of comprehensive efforts, including reduced response time, improved documentation of training, pre-fire planning and new equipment and strengthening partnerships with other village and township agencies as well as Laraway Communications Center (LCC).
The Fire District and the Village of Manhattan have progressively worked together to maintain safe environments through fire prevention codes and enforcement by conducting fire inspections, regular reviews of commercial properties and working with property owners to maintain safe environments for their employees and the visiting public.
As part of the Fire District’s community risk reduction efforts, regular fire and life safety education programs and prevention activities are provided to the general public and older adult population. The Fire District partners with Manhattan public and private schools to provide regular fire safety and risk reduction sessions with school aged children.
Homeowners Insurance Savings
What does MFPD’s improved public protection classification mean for homeowners? Contact your insurance company to make sure the improved protection classification rating is reflected on your homeowner’s policy, for any potential savings; savings will vary by company and other circumstances surrounding your policy. While most insurance companies use the ISO Public Protection Classification System as a factor on homeowner’s insurance, not all of them use the program.
Insurance Service Office (ISO) is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators and others by collecting and evaluating risk information. Fire departments across the country are evaluated on their municipal fire-protection efforts in communities at regular intervals (3-5 years) and are given a classification by ISO. To determine a communities PPC, ISO conducts a field survey to observe and evaluate features of the fire protection system, analyzes relevant data and assigns a PPC grade.
The fire district’s overall ISO classification is represented by two separate ratings, each with different water supply methods which service the areas; the Fire Protection Service Area (FPSA) and the Fire Department Service (FDS).
The rating scale, with Class 1 being the best and Class 10 meaning available fire suppression services do not meet the organization’s minimum requirements, is based on three factors:
50 percent of a community’s overall score is based upon the fire department’s structure fire suppression system and ability to minimize potential loss. This review includes engine and ladder/service vehicles including reserve apparatus, pumping capacity, equipment carried, first-alarm response, geographic deployment of fire companies, automatic-aid agreements and personnel training.
40 percent of a community’s overall score is based on the adequacy of the water supply system. A review of the system is conducted to determine availability of water to fight a fire, focusing on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption, as well as the number and location of fire hydrants and frequency of hydrant inspections and flow testing.
Emergency Communications Systems
10 percent of the community’s overall score is based on how well the emergency communications center receives and dispatches fire alarms. The evaluation of the emergency communication center includes review of the facility for the public to report fires, staffing, training and education of telecommunicators, and facilities for dispatching fire departments.
The calculation also takes into consideration community risk reduction efforts such as fire prevention codes and enforcement, public fire safety education and fire investigation.
The Fire District was evaluated by Insurance Services Office in late 2020 and received its new Public Protection Classification on Oct. 26, 2020, to take effect Feb. 1, 2021.