ISO conducts field visits to collect information on fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States and then analyzes the data to determine a rating. The rating is based on four factors- a fire department’s ability to receive and respond to fire alarms; review of a fire department’s equipment, personnel, and training; the water supply system; and community risk reduction efforts. ISO then assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10.
Class 1 represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates the area’s fire suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria. Many insurance companies then use this ISO rating for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercial, and industrial properties. ISO evaluates more than 39,000 fire protection districts across the United States. Of those jurisdictions, only 14 percent earn a Class 3 designation or better.
This improved ISO rating reflects the investment in public safety within Stafford County since the department was last evaluated in 2014.
“This rating improvement is no accident. It represents years of our Board and the Fire and Rescue Department working and planning together to ensure we have the capacity to serve residents,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch, Rock Hill District. “The best part is that it may lower insurance costs for some residents, which is always welcomed.”
Fire Chief Joseph Cardello said, “This rating improvement recognizes the commitment and dedication of Stafford County Fire & Rescue personnel to provide quality fire protection services to our community, and it also recognizes the tremendous support we’ve received from the Board of Supervisors. This rating is a validation of the outstanding services that Stafford County Fire & Rescue provides.”
Property owners are encouraged to contact their insurance company regarding this new ISO rating. A copy of the official letter from ISO is on the Stafford County Fire & Rescue website.