Wednesday, May 25, 2022

WFD one of 300 nationwide to receive highest ranking

Wilmington Fire Department is now a Class 1 ISO Department. (Courtesy Wilmington Fire Department)


WILMINGTON – The Wilmington Fire Department has officially been recognized as a Class I Department by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). An independent, for-profit subsidiary of Verisk Analytics, ISO scores fire departments against industry standards to determine property insurance costs.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment for our department and the citizens of Wilmington,” fire chief Steve Mason said in a press release. “It is a testament of the excellent service WFD provides each and every day and a direct result of the support the department receives.”

The ISO score is based on a variety of factors, including water supply, station distribution, communications systems, standard operating procedures, training, number of personnel per apparatus and community risk reduction. 

After analyzing the data, the ISO assigns a public protection classification (PPC) on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best. The PPC is an industry standard gauging the ability of a local fire department to respond to fires. Quality of fire protection plays a large part in insurance overage decision-making and determining rates.  

According to ISO, only 338 of the nearly 30,000 fire departments in the United States have earned Class 1 recognition.

“From Fire Chief to fire trainee, this designation is a testament to the dedication of the men and women who serve this community daily,”  Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said in the release. “As a lifelong resident and as Mayor of Wilmington, this is a very proud moment for me.” 

The Wilmington Fire Department is also recognized by the Center for Public Safety Excellence, a not-for-profit organization that recognizes continuous improvement of services by first responder agencies and credentials emergency services officers. According to the release, It is one of only 113 organizations worldwide to be an accredited agency and an ISO Class 1 Department.

“To achieve an ISO 1 rating in addition to agency accreditation is an incredible accomplishment that speaks to the strong and consistent leadership at the Wilmington Fire Department — not only are we among the best in the country, we are among the best in the world,” Saffo said in the release. 

The ISO designation took effect April 1.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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