On April 1, 2022, the Wilmington Fire Department officially changed over to an ISO Class I Department, as determined by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).
“To achieve an ISO 1 rating in addition to agency accreditation is an incredible accomplishment that speaks to the strong and consistent leadership at the Wilmington Fire Department — not only are we among the best in the country, we are among the best in the world,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. “From Fire Chief to fire trainee, this designation is a testament to the dedication of the men and women who serve this community daily. Our commitment to providing core services of the highest quality continues to benefit Wilmington residents. As a lifelong resident and as Mayor of Wilmington, this is a very proud moment for me.”
The ISO is an independent, for-profit organization. It scores fire departments on how they are doing against industry standards to determine property insurance costs. An ISO fire rating is a score provided to fire departments and insurance companies by the ISO. The score reflects how prepared a community and area is for fires. There are many factors that contribute to an area’s score like water supply (managed by CFPUA), station distribution, communications systems, SOPs, training, number of personnel per apparatus, community risk reduction, and more.
After analyzing the data, the ISO assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPC) on a scale from 1 to 10. The higher the ISO fire protection class (with Class 1 being the best), the “better” the department – at least in the eyes of the ISO. A good ISO fire rating demonstrates a commitment to excellence as verified by a third-party review.
“This is an outstanding accomplishment for our department and the citizens of Wilmington,” said Fire Chief Steve Mason. “It is a testament of the excellent service WFDprovides each and every day and a direct result of the support the department receives from Council, the persistence and dedication of our employees, and the adoption of a constant improvement business model established through our accreditation efforts.”
According to ISO, only 338 of the nearly 30,000 fire departments in the United States have earned this prestigious recognition. The Wilmington Fire Department is also an accredited organization through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Their website lists only 113 organizations worldwide that are both an accredited agency and an ISO Class 1 Department.