The City of Arlington will soon receive the Insurance Service Office’s highest Public Protection Classification, an elite designation that may save some homeowners and commercial property owners across the city on insurance premium costs.
The ISO’s Class 1 designation represents exemplary fire protection. This classification, which will be officially awarded to Arlington on March 1, 2018, is held by only about 300 of 49,000-plus agencies nationwide that have been evaluated. Representatives from the ISO and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office recognized the hard work of the Arlington Fire Department, Water Utilities Department and city leadership during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 30.
“Very few achieve this goal. This is a big freaking deal,” State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said. “Arlington is in a very elite group. It ought to be commended but the biggest winners are the citizens.”
The ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. Most U.S. insurers use the classification as part of their decision making on types of coverage to offer and calculating premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties, according to the ISO.
“The vast majority of the community will see the benefits of the Class 1” rating,” said Phillip Bradley, Texas Manager for the ISO. “Everybody in the community should be very proud of the level of services provided.”
The ISO’s evaluation, which included reviews of Arlington’s emergency communications systems, fire department and water supply, was completed in late 2017.
“This is not a fire department scorecard. We evaluate the total fire protection capabilities provided by a city. Then we assigned a grade on a scale on 1 to 10 based on the level of fire protection provided. When we run across a community that does very well, we give then a Class 1,” Bradley said. “We think it’s a really big deal.”
“This is not just the City of Arlington, Arlington Fire, Water or Emergency Communications saying, ‘We are wonderful, trust us, believe us,’” Connealy said. “This is third-party validation through the ISO’s various performance measures, and it’s very rigorous.”
Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson was among city leaders who accepted plaques from the ISO and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office during the council meeting.
“For us, 1 is an outstanding rating,” Crowson said. “We are proud of the overall government effort to protect the community. This is the result of a lot of hard work.”
“Helping our fire department meet the fire protection needs of our community is a core responsibility of the water utility. Our employees take their role seriously. The attainment of a Class 1 fire rating is another example of how inter-departmental cooperation lowers costs and enhances peace of mind for our residents,” Water Utilities Director Buzz Pishkur said.