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Fire District ISO rating improves to class four

By Staff | Aug 26, 2010

After a rigorous examination of the Captiva Island Fire Control District’s fire suppression capabilities in May, the District was recently notified by the Insurance Service Office (ISO) that the District’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) will improve to a class four beginning on Nov. 1.

The PPC is a risk number scale from one to 10, with one being the best rating possible, and is one of the major factors that insurance companies use when determining fire insurance premiums.

Since 1992, the District had a PPC of five, but the new classification will put the District in the company of 136 Florida fire departments with a rating of four out of a total of 754 Florida fire departments participating in the ISO PPC.

During the inspection in May, an ISO representative visited Captiva and evaluated the District based on a uniform set of criteria, including Lee County Emergency Management communications, the Island Water Association’s (IWA) water supply system and the District’s staffing, equipment, training, fire alarm and structure fire response times.

“The biggest contribution we can make to the grade is maintaining and improving our response time,” said District commission chairman Bob Brace. “Our response times are really quite good and we’re somewhat fortunate here because the island is only so big. When we’re operating at an ISO five or four, that’s almost as good as you can get in a geographic location such as we’re in. It’s usually very difficult for an island to get into that category. When we became a five, that was a major landmark for us — and now that we’ve achieved a rating of four, we’re quite pleased. Now we’re going to try for a three.”

District Chief Jay Halverson also said he was pleased with the lower classification and in a release issued by the District on Monday, he thanked Communication Manager Bruce Dennington of the Lee County Dispatch Center, IWA General Manager Rusty Isler and his staff and all of the personnel and Commissioners of the District for their work on the ISO evaluation.

“The Island Water Association is a big part of the new rating and we’ve owed a lot of our success to them over the years,” Brace said. “Another factor is the increasing involvement we have with the Sanibel Fire Department, increasing our training opportunities. If we have a major event on either island, we’ll need each other.”

Both Halverson and Brace urge Captiva property and business owners to check with their insurance providers after the new rating takes effect on Nov. 1 to see if they qualify for lower fire insurance premiums.

“The value of ISO is a nationally recognized benchmark,” Brace said. “They are a body insurance companies frequently lean on and it’s one of the ways you can try to keep your fire insurance rates down. It’s well worth contacting whomever your provider is and telling them that the District has improved their ISO rating.”

For more information about ISO ratings, go to www.ISO.com.

The Captiva Island Fire Control District is located at 14981 Captiva Drive.