A national company that rates fire departments based on their training and fire suppression and prevention capabilities has reclassified the City of Danville as a class 1 community, which is the highest rating possible.
The new rating makes Danville one of seven communities in Virginia and 241 in the nation to earn the designation.
In addition, the new rating could also benefit homeowners and businesses who have fire insurance. Fire protection ratings play a role in the underwriting process at insurance companies.
“This was a total team effort and a direct result of the hard work of our fire personnel, 911 dispatchers, the support of our management team and elected officials, and a great partnership with the Danville division of Water & Gas,” Fire Chief David Eagle said Monday.
City Manager Ken Larking agreed. “We appreciate the support of City Council and the community for the fire department in making sure we have the resources needed for this reclassification,” Larking said.
The new rating officially takes effect May 1. Currently, the City of Danville has a class 2 rating.
The reclassification came from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which provides data and analytics for the property/casualty insurance industry. The ISO evaluates fire protection efforts throughout the country. It rates communities on a scale of 1 to 10, with "1" being the best.
ISO incorporates objective nationally recognized standards to evaluate a community’s fire department, 911 communications, water system and community risk-reduction programs through fire code enforcement, investigation and public education.
In addition to being awarded an ISO class 1 rating, the Fire Department also is internationally accredited, which is recognized worldwide as a measure of excellence in fire service. The department received the accreditation in 2015.
International accreditation is a voluntary self-assessment program established through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, which provides a model to improve the fire and rescue agencies. The commission analyzed every aspect of the fire department – administrative, operational, call processing time, turnout time and response time.