The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) earned a spot in the top 1% in the country for what is referred to as an ISO rating. The class one rating is the highest possible score given to a fire department, nationwide.
“There’s a lot of hard work that went into this,” Fire Chief Keith Powers said, during a news conference Thursday.
ISO stands for Insurance Services Office. The city has maintained this rating since 2016.
To lock that type of status, the department has to ensure the proper water flow for any house that catches fire. Plus, it must keep response times low.
It saves lives, but it also has saved taxpayers more than $100 million in insurance premiums.
“The new score goes into effect on July 1,” Chief Powers said. “It will make an impact in the community of about $242 million a year to property owners.”
Keeping up with the growth has been the main concentration. Since 2013, JFRD has been aggressively working on efforts to maintain this rating, including adding new fire stations and more rescue units.
There were previously some areas where the city was lacking resources, as the population began to grow. Action News Jax first reported in 2018 about a massive fire in the Hampton Park neighborhood on the Southside. The spokesperson with JFRD said Station 44 was the first to respond because it was the closest. However, it responded on a Friday afternoon during rush hour traffic. The station is 15 minutes away, on a good day. This kind of response time would not be conducive to insurance companies.
“We added ladder 62, ladder 72, five additional tankers,” Chief Powers said. Plus, they have added several new fire stations, with one opening this summer.
Only 459 out of 38,747 fire departments in the country have earned a class one rating, according to ISO.
“I am extremely proud of the work that has been put into this,” Chief Powers said.
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