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City of Cedar Rapids ISO Rating Improvement

City of Cedar Rapids ISO Rating Improvement

The City of Cedar Rapids received the results of the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification (PPC™) evaluation. The report indicated the City of Cedar Rapids improved from a Class 3/9 to an improved rating of 2/2X for fire insurance. With this new rating, the City of Cedar Rapids is in the top three percent of all communities nationwide for their fire suppression delivery system. 

ISO is a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance risk and currently evaluates 46,042 public fire service providers nationwide. Through the PPC program, ISO evaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. A community's investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. Insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance, which generally offers lower premiums in communities with better protection. Many communities use the PPC as a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of their fire protection services. The PPC program is also a tool that helps communities plan for, budget and justify improvements. 

The classification revision follows a thorough evaluation of three broad areas: Emergency Communications, Water Supply and the Fire Department.   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, which include 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 the effectiveness of the enforcement of those codes. 

ISO rates municipalities on a scale of one to ten. A rating of one indicates the highest level of fire protection, while a ten shows a need for improvement in all areas of public protection. These ratings are then used by insurance companies to establish fair premiums for commercial and residential insurance.  This improved rating could have a positive impact on residential, commercial, and industrial insurance premiums depending upon how individual insurance companies bracket the rating into their premium calculations. 

City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said, “The improved ISO rating is the result of a commitment by city leadership and the Utilities Department, Joint Communications Center, and Fire Department devoting countless hours to identifying and addressing areas of improvement.  The results affirm that our community has an excellent fire protection system.  These results are a major economic development tool that can be added to an attractive list of reasons why businesses and industry can thrive and grow in Cedar Rapids.   It is also great news for residents of our community and demonstrates our commitment to public safety.” 

“This is a proud moment for our community,” said Fire Chief Mark English, “The City’s investment in infrastructure, equipment and personnel has resulted in a fire suppression system that allows the Fire Department to efficiently respond and reduce property loss.  The improved ISO rating validates the Utility Department’s efforts to provide an excellent water supply and well-maintained fire hydrant system, the efficient call processing and response matrix delivery by 911 dispatchers, and proper training and fire tactical response efforts of firefighters.  These efforts, embraced by city leadership, resulted in this important ISO rating upgrade.” 

The improved ISO rating will be effective on June 1, 2018.

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