Seymour Fire Department approaches Class 2 ISO rating

The ISO rating of a fire department is one of the benchmarks it uses to plan for future development, purchasing and staffing needs.

It’s also the rating most insurance providers use when determining the rates they charge their customers.

That was posted on Facebook by the Seymour Fire Department in announcing it has retained its Insurance Services Office rating of 3 and is very close to reaching the Class 2 rating.

ISO is a risk advisory company owned by Verisk Analytics that rates communities based on their fire preparedness, according to QuoteWizard by LendingTree.

ISO assigns its rating using the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which sorts communities into classes 1 through 10 with Class 1 being the best and Class 10 being the worst.

To achieve Class 1, a community has to score 90 or higher on the FSRS. The rating schedule awards a maximum of 105.5 points based on a community’s fire department, water supply, emergency communications and risk reduction.

“Seymour Fire Department has worked diligently over the years to obtain a rating of 3, which less than 15% of the nearly 40,000 departments in the nation that are surveyed have,” the Facebook post says. “We just received our score from our latest survey. Although we retained our 3 rating, we vastly improved our score, so much that we feel a 2 rating is obtainable at our next survey in five years.”

At the end of the April 24 Seymour City Council meeting, Mayor Matt Nicholson shared the news about the rating, which had been received earlier that day.

He said the previous ISO fire score was 70.98 and the new one was 76.47.

“We’re three and a half roughly from being a Class 2,” Nicholson said. “Only about 5% of the cities that are reviewed ever reach Class 2 or above, so credits to Chief (Brad) Lucas and all of his guys as well as the telecom guys over at the police department and Indiana American Water because it takes all three of them to accomplish what they’ve succeeded at there.”

SFD said the ISO fire score is obtained from three sources. The department’s response capabilities make up 50% of the score, the water system provided by Indiana American Water makes up 40% of the score and the 911 dispatch system operated by the Seymour Police Department makes up the remaining 10%.

“We would like to thank our fire officers and firefighters for the commitment they make to constantly improve themselves and certainly our partners at SPD and Indiana American Water for their efforts in providing top-notch service to our community,” SFD said in its Facebook post.

Nicholson said a meeting is being set up to plan out the next few years worth of improvements in hopes of getting to Class 2.