Cleveland Fire Department Maintains High Rating

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The Cleveland Fire Department continues to hold one of the best national ratings issued by the Insurance Services Office, officials said after a recent survey by ISO.

The ISO is a company that gathers community fire suppression information, evaluates those resources and ranks the local service according to its Public Protection Classification Program. Community fire service protection is ranked numerically 1-10, with 10 being no protection at all.

Following a recent evaluation, Cleveland continues to hold a "3" classification.

Cleveland officials said, "The continued low number means property insurance rates for Cleveland homeowners and business property owners inside the city remains low."

According to the ISO, out of approximately 50,000 fire departments nationwide, only 2,410 have a "3" classification. Only 750 departments have a "2" classification. Sixty have a "1" ranking.

Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Haun said Cleveland missed a "2" classification by only two and a quarter points. On the most recent ISO evaluation, Cleveland scored 77.75 and needed an 80 for the "2" classification.

Reaching the high classification is a community effort, Chief Haun said. Half the evaluation focuses on the fire department itself, while 40 percent of the score is based on water supply, locally through Cleveland Utilities.  The remaining 10 percent is based on emergency communications, which locally is the Cleveland/Bradley County 911 Center.

In a letter to Mayor Tom Rowland, the ISO said "ISO's Public Protection Classification Program plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies."

Cleveland City Council members said Cleveland's rating "is good news for city property owners."

Mayor Tom Rowland said, "Along with schools and police services, fire protection is among the topics most often asked about by people considering moving their families, businesses or industries here."

The Cleveland Fire Department is currently in its 117th year of providing fire protection and other emergency services to Cleveland. Led by Chief Haun, the department has 90 personnel at five stations across the city.

ISO is a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics.

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