Oshkosh Fire Department rating upgraded

Andrew Hansen, Staff Writer

The Oshkosh Fire Department’s ranking on the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program was recently upgraded from a rating of 2 to 1, which could result in noticeable decreases in property insurance rates for homeowners and businesses in the city.

According to the fire department’s Public Information Officer John Holland the ISO considers a lot of criteria when determining a department’s rating.

The PPC was created by the Insurance Service Office (ISO) and is used to help insurance companies determine city premiums. The ISO collects information on fire-protection efforts throughout communities in the United States.

“It’s basically like an audit, and we get different points for different things,” Holland said. “They check on our emergency communications systems, which is our 911 center. Obviously they check the fire department.”

Other factors the ISO takes into account include the extent and quality of training provided to personnel, community water supply and community risk reduction through services such as fire safety education. The ISO then assigns a ranking from one to 10, with class one representing excellent property fire protection and class 10 indicating that the area’s fire-suppression does not meet ISO’s minimum requirements.

Holland also said that it is through a collective effort that the department received this ranking.

“It is the 911 center, it is our public works, as well as us. But it’s working together as a community that we have come out on top,” Holland said.

Additionally, PPC is used in setting benchmarks for planning, budgeting and justifying fire-protection improvements.

About 388 departments nationwide received a class one ranking, with eight departments in Wisconsin receiving this rating.

Holland explained that there were many aspects that built toward this award.

“We have done more training then we’ve ever done before. We actually have the proper training equipment, and we have a new training tower in the city of Oshkosh and we are always working on our prevention efforts,” Holland said. “We have also come up with a new falls prevention program; falls are huge in the city of Oshkosh.”

Holland said that of the nearly 9,000 calls the department responds to every year, about 1,000 are for citizens falling.

Holland also noted the pride that comes with the new classification.

“We’re very proud of this, being one of the best departments in the nation,” Holland said. “And it is because of the people here, the people we work with and the people of Oshkosh.”

The rating will take effect starting June 1.