April 28, 2022
Jacksonville Achieves ISO Class 1 Rating
Poster Displaying Jacksonville's Class 1 ISO Rating

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is also the largest Class 1 agency internationally
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) recently rated Duval County as a Class 1 municipality, a distinction that represents optimal capability in firefighting. This rating or Public Protection Classification (PPC) is an indicator of a municipal fire department’s fire suppression capacity, its water supply, and its management of fire alarm calls based on criteria set by the ISO. JEA, the local water and electrical utility, also played a significant role in Duval County’s new ISO rating.

“It doesn’t get any better than a Class 1 rating for the property owners and the residents of Duval County,” said Skip Starling, director of the National Fire Services Office. “The rating not only validates the expertise and resources within the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD), but it will also influence the insurance premiums that property owners are paying.”

Property insurance companies use the PPC to adjust premiums, and improvement of the rating often reduces insurance rates for property owners. Based on the current assessed value of Duval County’s property, Starling estimated a combined annual savings of $242 million in insurance premiums for homeowners and business owners.

Starling worked with the leadership of JFRD and with administrators at ISO to complete a rigorous review of JFRD's fire suppression capacity and proficiency. Starling also characterized JFRD as the largest ISO Class 1 department in the world, given Duval County’s expanse of 918 square miles, according to the United States Census.

During a public announcement of the Class 1 rating in late April, JFRD’s Director/Fire Chief Keith Powers acknowledged the men and women of the department for their ongoing commitment to training and improvement, and for displaying their expertise during the ISO audit and fire station visits throughout Jacksonville – a process that spanned nearly two years.

Powers also thanked Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Jacksonville’s City Council for consistently supporting the department’s growth to adequately meet the increasing demand for service.

Nationwide, there are 459 fire departments designated as Class 1, according to ISO’s Michael Morash, who is a Community Hazard Mitigation Manager for ISO. In addition to Jacksonville, Duval County is home to the coastal cities of Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach, as well as the Town of Baldwin located on Jacksonville’s westside. JFRD provides fire and rescue services to all of Duval County, including the coastal communities and Baldwin.