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Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service’s Insurance Services Office Rating Translates into Savings

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 20, 2017

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Fire Chief Scott Goldstein announced that enhancements in the County’s fire service have raised its Public Protection Classification rating by the Insurance Services Office, Inc., following a comprehensive audit and evaluation.  The new rating, which will take effect on June 1, 2017 could mean further savings, to add upon the savings in 2012, on fire insurance premiums for residents and businesses.


Insurance Services Office (ISO), which collects information about municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States, is the leading supplier of statistical, actuarial and underwriting information to insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators and others.  ISO’s Public Protection Classification program objectively measures and evaluates municipal fire departments according to a uniform set of criteria, incorporating nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association.  ISO uses a rating system of 1 to 10, with Class 1 being the highest fire protection rating.  The Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating is one of many variables that insurers consider when developing their fire insurance coverage programs.


Montgomery County’s new rating by the ISO, based on a 2016 audit and evaluation, is Class 2 for urban areas (improved from Class 3 in the previous classification), and Class 4 for rural areas (improved from Class 6).

The County’s previous ISO evaluations occurred in the mid-1970s and 2012.  The rating split between urban and rural areas reflects the County’s mixed land use.  Almost a third of the County’s land resources – encompassing more than 93,000 acres – is designated as rural.  


The overall PPC rating reflects the total capability of the department to respond to and meet the fire protection demands of the community.  The determination of Public Protection Classification ratings are based primarily on four areas, each of which is weighted.


The higher Public Protection Classification (PPC) ratings awarded to Montgomery County’s fire service largely reflect the extensive efforts by career and volunteer personnel to expand our rural water resource strategy and professional organization management, community risk reduction programs and record keeping. Changes made since 2012 include:


·         Addition of tanker at Damascus Station 13;


·         Addition of reserve tanker to support MCFRS 8 tanker deployment plan;


·         Increased focus and recordation for apparatus and equipment maintenance and testing. This includes, pump testing, aerial testing, and hose testing;


·         Increased focus on in-station training and drill documentation


"Because of the great work of the Montgomery Fire & Rescue Service, our homes and families are safer – and our home and business fire insurance costs are less,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “Our focus on people, training, equipment, and facilities over the past decade is paying off.”


Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Fire Chief Scott Goldstein adds, "The hard work of many within MCFRS is validated with the revised ISO rating. The residents and visitors to Montgomery County deserve and receive high quality fire and emergency medical response. The core ability for the fire department to extinguish a fire is dependent on water, hauled water in rural areas or pumped/relayed water from hydrants."  Fire Chief Goldstein also notes,  "The ISO process along with the Center for Public Safety Excellence Accreditation ensures that we constantly review our capabilities and performance. “


The PPC ratings provide guidance to insurance providers and are one of the many factors that affect insurance premiums.  Business and property owners should contact their insurance agent after the June 1st, 2017 effective date to determine whether they qualify for any change in insurance rates.


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Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Pete Piringer 240-372-3749