Fire Department Receives High Safety Rating

The Mount Vernon Fire Department has a Class 3 classification from the ISO, ranking it among the top 15 percent nationwide in fire suppression ratings. Graphic courtesy of ISO, Inc.

Classification from ISO may mean lower insurance premiums for residents

MOUNT VERNON, June 9, 2022 – The City of Mount Vernon’s Fire Department is among the top 15 percent of fire departments in the country when it comes to fire suppression capabilities, according to new ratings from Insurance Services Office, Inc.

In addition to making the City’s residents feel safer, the higher rating can translate into more affordable property insurance for them as well.

“A lot went into achieving this newest rating. It was a team effort put forth by not only the firefighters/department, but City Council members and the administration as well,” said Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chad Christopher.

“Over the last five years we have purchased a new ladder truck, upgraded our equipment and improved our training. Those efforts combined with those of the Knox County Dispatch Center, as well as the water distribution system, made a big impact on improving our rating. We are already looking ahead at how we can maintain, if not improve the rating over the next five years.”

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) evaluates and classifies more than 39,000 fire protection areas across the country, analyzing how each district performs on water supply, emergency communications, needed fire flows and the equipment, staffing and training of fire departments, among other factors. Each department is then assigned a Public Protection Classification (PPC) grade.

The Mount Vernon Fire Department’s latest ISO-issued PPC is 03/3Y, making it one of just 3,583 Class 3 fire departments in the U.S. A Class 3 designation is more typically found in larger metropolitan areas, such as Columbus or Cincinnati.

“I applaud the efforts of Chief Christopher, the Mount Vernon Fire Department, Mount Vernon Public Utilities Department and the Knox County 9-1-1 Center for continually improving the quality of our emergency services,” said Mount Vernon Safety-Service Director Rick Dzik. “This will directly translate into savings for our residents in exchange for their continued investment in City services.”

According to the ISO, a community’s investment in fire mitigation measures can be a reliable indicator of future fire losses. Statistical data on insurance losses routinely reflects the relationship between effective fire protection, such as that measured by the PPC ratings, and low fire losses. Consequently, scores of insurance providers utilize PPC ratings to help set their premiums for homeowners and businesses. Typically, fire insurance costs in a community with a highly rated fire department under the ISO classification are markedly lower than in a community with a poor PPC grade.

“These excellent marks for the Mount Vernon Fire Department are a textbook example of the residents’ tax dollars being put to good use,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Matt Starr. “First and foremost, of course, our Fire Department’s top-of-the-line practices and procedures help us feel secure in our homes and businesses. If residents can also save money on their insurance as a result, that’s just icing on the cake.”

ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators and others by providing information about risk. For more information about its Public Protection Classification Summary Report on the Mount Vernon Fire Department, contact Safety-Service Director Dzik at 740-393-9520.


Information courtesy of the Mount Vernon Mayor’s Office