The Insurance Service Office (ISO) evaluates municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States through its Public Protection Classification (PPC) program and assigns a PPC from 1 to 10. Class 1 is the highest rating and represents superior property fire protection. Consequently, fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection are significantly lower than those areas served by departments with higher ratings.
According to Fire Chief Steve Kovalcik, the Greenville City Fire Department has worked diligently over the past few decades to improve its response capabilities through ISO classification. "This prestigious designation as a Class 1 department marks the culmination of that hard work, as well as the beginning of a process of excellence," said Kovalcik. "In addition to being proud of this accomplishment, we're also extremely gratified that our citizens can be assured that they're receiving the highest quality protection and that home and business owners may also see a decrease in the cost of their fire insurance."
According to the ISO, a community's PPC depends on:
- Emergency communications systems, including facilities for the public to report fires, staffing, training, certification of telecommunicators and facilities for dispatching fire departments
- The fire department, including equipment, staffing, training and geographic deployment of fire companies
- The water supply system, including the inspection and flow testing of hydrants and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water, compared with the amount needed to suppress fires
- Community efforts to reduce the risk of fire, including fire prevention codes and enforcement, public fire safety education and fire investigation programs