An insurance industry advisory group has bumped Evanston up a notch to its highest fire protection rating.

Effective Oct. 1, Evanston’s Fire Depoartment will have a Class 1 designation from ISO, the Insurance Services Office, Inc.

Only 305 of the more than 46,000 departments rated by the ISO — or less than one percent — have the Class 1 designation in its Public Protection Classification program, which sorts departments into 10 rating categories.

With its previous Class 2 designation Evanston was in the top two percent of departments nationwide.

Fire Chief Brian Scott said, “Achieving the Class 1 rating reflects the exceptional fire protection services we provide to the great City of Evanston each and every day, as well as our commitment to our core values of service, professionalism and tradition.”

Scott praised the cooperation of other city units, including the Public Works Agency Water Production Bureau and the Police Department Communications Bureau in gaining the top rating.

The review is conducted by ISO staff on a five-year cycle, and includes site visits, records examination and observation.

Four major areas are evaluated: fire department operations, water supply, emergency communications and community risk reduction.

Scott says the PPC program provides an objective, nationwide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training.

Communities in one of the top ISO rating tiers generally also have lower fire insurance rates than communities with much low ratings.

Pictured above: Senior Project Manager for Water and Sewer Paul Moyano, Water Distribution Supervisor Tim Bartus, Public Works Director Dave Stoneback, Water Production Bureau Chief Darrell King, Assistant Communications Coordinator Chris Voss, Mike Ramirez and Randy Downs of ISO, Fire Shift Chief Bill Muno, Management Analyst Mike Whalen and Fire Chief Brian Scott. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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