Fire protection in Cedar Falls has improved as determined the recent Insurance Service Office (ISO) – Public Protection Class (PPC) survey. The PPC classification system assigns a number grade from 1 – 10 to 47,242 communities across the United States including 2432 communities in Iowa. An ISO Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet the ISO’s minimum criteria. Cedar Falls PPC will improve from a Class 4 to a Class 3 effective December 1, 2011. The new classification places Cedar Falls in the top one percent or one of only 26 communities in the State of Iowa with a Class 3. As reported by ISO, no community in Iowa has a grade better than class 3.
This grading schedule plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. ISO documents state that most insurers – including the largest ones – use PPC information for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties.
The PPC program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria. These criteria incorporate nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association.
The following community features are evaluated:
--Fire Alarm and Communication System – This review accounts for 10% of the total classification which centers upon a community’s facilities and support for handling and dispatching fire alarms.
--Fire Department – This review accounts for 50% of the total classification which focuses upon items such as engine companies, distribution on fire stations and fire companies, department manning, and training.
--Water Supply System – This review accounts for 40% of the total classification highlighting the water supply a community uses for fire suppression.
Cedar Falls showed significant improvements in all three grading components since the last survey in 1993.
“Cedar Falls Fire Rescue is extremely proud to have their community placed in the top one percent in the State of Iowa for fire protection. This could not have happened without the dedicated fire department personnel, a strong cooperative relationship with Cedar Falls Utilities – Water Department, a devoted County Consolidated Communication Center and tremendous support from the Cedar Falls City Council and Mayor Crews,” said Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling.