Silverton Fire District Lowers ISO Ratings

The Silverton Fire District is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2017, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) announced that the Silverton Fire District will receive an improved Public Protection Class (PPC) rating. In a letter received from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the District's fire protection class rating will improve to a PPC of 3/10 throughout the District. Those properties within 5 road miles of a recognized Silverton Fire District Station would be rated a PPC 3 and properties over 5 road miles from a Silverton Fire Station would receive a PPC 10.

ISO ratings assign numeric designations to fire departments which mirror their effectiveness in the communities they serve and range from a 10 (the worst rating) to a 1 (the best). To quantify a communities ISO rating, the company grades the community and its fire department based on a variety of factors that contribute to its fire-fighting capabilities including dispatching, water supplies, firefighting equipment, training and qualifications of fire department personnel, fire prevention activities performed by the department and deployment of firefighting resources, designating a numeric grade or rating. The District's rating of 3 places us within the top 8% of fire departments nationwide.

The rating change from a 4 to a 3 primarily results from a change in the grading score system used by ISO. Recently, ISO began crediting departments for their community risk reduction programs, which Silverton Fire District is a strong proponent of. Community risk reduction involves fire prevention/education programs, plan review, inspections and fire cause and origin investigation programs. Previously, ISO did not recognize points for these programs.

The two water purveyors (providers) in the Silverton Fire District are also equally important in this evaluation. Both the Cities of Silverton and Scotts Mills have made improvements to infrastructure that makes it possible to sustain higher flows for increased amounts of time. This fire flow capability is a critical component in the fire districts ability to respond to and mitigate the threat of fire in both commercial and residential settings.

Lastly the 911 Emergency Communications Center is evaluated and scored as part of this evaluation. The Silverton Fire District contracts with METCOM 911 for fire dispatch services. A communities' dispatch services and 911 call handling procedures are also critical elements in the grading.

The Silverton Fire District working in partnerships with the City of Silverton, City of Scotts Mills, METCOM 911, and all of our neighboring automatic aid fire agencies were able to maximize the rating criteria to get high scores on all the rated criteria. Fire Chief Bill Miles said, "We value our partnerships with the cities, dispatch center and neighboring fire agencies; we could not have achieved such a low ISO rating without them".

ISO's PPC Program plays an important role in the underwriting process of insurance companies. Not only does an improved ISO rating give District residents increased assurance in the services that the District provides, but it can potentially save them money on their homeowner's insurance.

Each insurance company independently determines the premiums it charges policy holders for property insurance. The way an insurer uses ISO's information on public fire protection can depend on several things, so it's a good idea for people to contact their insurers to inform them of this rating change as a possible way to save them money on their insurance.

Many insurance companies, including some of the top rated, now do their own risk analysis to be more responsive in matching the real risk and market conditions and thus do not use the ISO system. The Silverton Fire District highly encourages individuals to get multiple quotes from ISO and non ISO insurers. Doing so can result in very competitive rates and significant savings.

For additional information contact, Bill Miles, Fire Chief Silverton Fire District (503) 873-5328

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