The City of Bismarck has received notice from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) that the fire protection rating in Bismarck has improved from a Class 3 to a Class 2. The ISO grades communities on their fire protection on a scale of 1 to 10, a Class 1 rating is superior and a Class 10 does not meet standards. According to ISO information, the City of Bismarck is the first city in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota to reach a fire protection rating of Class 2.
Fire Chief Joel Boespflug credits city staff for their everyday professionalism. “The continual training, prompt emergency response, equipment readiness, pre-fire planning, and fire prevention are important factors in the rating, along with a well maintained water supply system and an accurate and efficient 911 center.” Boespflug also credits city leaders for their strong support of public safety. “The Bismarck City Commission has demonstrated their commitment to public safety through strategic planning and provides the needed resources for professional emergency response.”
The ISO rating reviews fire station locations, response times, emergency dispatch centers, fire department resources, and water system capabilities. The adoption and enforcement of fire codes is also reviewed to ensure that safety standards are being applied appropriately.
City Commissioner Parrell Grossman holds the portfolio of the fire department and he expressed his appreciation of the teamwork amongst departments. “This is excellent news. The professionalism and cooperation amongst the fire, public works, administration, and communications departments is outstanding and important to this outcome,” said Grossman. “I look forward to the completion of the new fire training structure to provide for an even higher level of training for firefighters”.
According to ISO, only 1.7% of communities nationwide have received a fire protection rating of Class 2 or better. “For Bismarck to be rated in the top 1.7% nationwide is truly exciting. It’s a reflection of Bismarck’s commitment and investment in firefighting services, public fire protection and providing for public safety,” said Mayor John Warford.
The new, improved fire protection rating will take effect July 1, 2014. The change will not affect insurance premiums until renewals after July 1st. Insurance companies use fire protection information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance.