ISO Survey Process Update

May 29, 2012

During the period February 27th-29th, Prattville Fire Department went through an ISO (Insurance Services Office) Survey. The purpose of this survey is to review the available public fire suppression facilities and develop a Public Protection Classification for the community's fire insurance rating. The survey measures the major elements of a city's fire suppression system and rates them on a scale of 1 to 10. ISO usually performs at least one survey per city every 10 years. The lower the score a community receives the better. Our last survey was in September 2001 and our ISO rating was lowered from an ISO rating of 4 to an ISO rating of 2.

During a survey, the fire department provides information on the number of firefighters on shift each day, the total number of hours training they receive as well as the type of training and the number calls the department responds too. They inspect the type and number of apparatus in service and in reserve as well as the required equipment on each apparatus. The number of stations and their locations in the community are mapped out to show the travel distance. Another key part of the survey is the department's training facility.

The ISO representative looks at the community as a whole. They focus on structures in the response area and square miles covered by the fire department. Particular emphasis is placed on multistory structures.

In that Prattville's E-911 Communications Center and Prattville Water Works have significant roles in the fire department's response and ability to protect the community, ISO spends a lot of time looking at these areas.

Once the overall field survey is completed, the information is forwarded to the ISO home office where the information is calculated into a rating. The community is notified of the score in approximately 4 to 6 months. The results of our last survey should be posted this coming summer.

"We've been through the process and it went well," stated Chief Terry Brown. "We're waiting on our rating. There is no indication it will change. We've got good people, equipment, training and great relationships with organizations necessary to our overall success."