(Effective: October 1, 2018)

The Insurance Service Office (ISO) recently issued a new Public Protection Class (PPC) rating for Swissvale.  The department has shown significant improvements since its last evaluation in 2013.

The PPC Program evaluates public fire protection services and provides an objective, countrywide standard that classifies a community’s ability to suppress fires.  ISO analyzes the relevant data using their Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program doesn't meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

ISO's PPC program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria, incorporating nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association. So, the PPC program provides a useful benchmark that helps fire departments and other public officials measure the effectiveness of their efforts.

Swissvale Fire Department underwent their evaluation in August 2018 and the new ISO-PPC rating for Swissvale is a Class 2, an improvement from Class 3 received in 2013 and a Class 5 before that.  The new score was just 3.17 points short of attaining a Class 1 rating!

In Allegheny County’s 130 municipalities, only two departments are rated better: The City of Pittsburgh and the Municipality of Mt Lebanon, which were rated a Class 1 just a few years ago.   To better demonstrate this accomplishment consider this:  of the 44,672 fire departments in the United states, only 270 have a higher rating and of the 2,488 fire departments in Pennsylvania, only 5 have a higher rating.   Swissvale now boasts the highest rating of any fire department serving a Borough in the entire state.

Virtually all U.S. insurers of homes and business property use ISO’s Public Protection Classifications in calculating premiums. In general, the price of insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.

Fire Chief Clyde Wilhelm congratulated his firefighters on their new rating.  “This new rating is a result of the collective efforts of all the members of the department.  This accomplishment is something they all should be proud of.”