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The City of Bismarck has achieved the Insurance Services Office (ISO) top fire protection rating of Class 1. This means the Bismarck Fire Department ranks at the top 1% of all fire departments in America, with only 348 cities having received the ISO Class 1 classification. ISO has evaluated and classified over 46,000 fire protection areas across the United States. The ISO grades a community’s fire protection on a scale of one to ten. An ISO Class 1 rating is the highest rating possible and represents superior property fire protection. Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. The classification was determined through reviews conducted with the Fire Department, Public Works Utility Operations, and the Central Dakota Communications Center.
Fire Chief Joel Boespflug credits city staff for their everyday professionalism, hard work and the efficiencies of firefighting staff. “I am proud of our staff’s commitment to providing an outstanding level of high-quality public services. We are privileged to serve the community.” Boespflug also credits city leaders for their commitment to public safety. “The Bismarck City Commission has demonstrated their continued allegiance to public safety through strategic planning and provides the needed resources for professional emergency response.”
City Commissioner Steve Marquardt holds the fire department portfolio. He expressed his appreciation of the teamwork among City departments. “This is outstanding news for our community. The professionalism and cooperation between our departments is exceptional and essential to achieving this outcome,” said Marquardt.
Mayor Steve Bakken said, “For Bismarck to be rated in the top 1% nationwide is a significant achievement for our City. It’s a reflection of Bismarck’s commitment to public fire protection, investment in firefighting services, providing for public safety and high-quality public services.”
ISO independently evaluates communities throughout the United States and publishes the public protection classification. According to the ISO, a community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predicator of future fire losses. The rating is used by most insurers when determining what businesses to insure, coverages to offer, or prices for personal or commercial property insurance.
The new, improved fire protection rating will take effect June 1, 2020. Insurance companies use fire protection information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good Public Protection Classification (PPC) is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.