The Wichita area's fire-protection services rating has improved to among the best in the nation, boasting a top-level status enjoyed by only 315 of 47,000 American communities and only one of six communities in Kansas.
Fire-protection services ratings are provided about every five years by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), a leading supplier of data and analysis for the insurance industry that collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts. ISO analyzes relevant data using a fire-suppression rating schedule then assigns communities a Public Protection Classification (PPC) ranging from 1 to 10 - with 1 representing superior property fire protection and 10 indicating an insufficient property fire protection that fails to meet minimum ISO standards. Wichita's PPC rating improved to Class 1/10 from a Class 3, following a recent survey.
The improved fire-protection services rating, which takes effect July 1, represents possible cost-savings for local residents, businesses and industries. Most insurers use PPC classifications for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties. Communities whose PPC improves may get lower insurance prices.
"The new rating is welcome news," Wichita Fire Department Chief Tammy Snow said on Thursday during Mayor Jeff Longwell's weekly news conference. "The department has worked very hard to maintain the rigorous standards required by the ISO. I want to thank our community partners, including Sedgwick County 911, Sedgwick County Fire District #1, and City of Wichita Public Works & Utilities for their assistance."