The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) measures the major elements of a community’s fire protection system and develops a numerical grading called a Public Protection Classification (PPC™). Here’s an outline of the items considered in the FSRS and the weight of each item used in calculating a PPC rating.
Emergency reporting: ISO will credit basic 9-1-1 or Enhanced 9-1-1. Other items evaluated include E9-1-1 wireless, voice over Internet>Protocol (VoIP), and computer-aided dispatch (CAD).
Telecommunicators: ISO credits the performance of the telecommunicators in accordance with the general criteria of NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems. We also credit emergency dispatch protocols and the telecommunicators’ training and certification programs.
Dispatch circuits: ISO credits the number and type of dispatch circuits in accordance with the general criteria in NFPA 1221.
Emergency communications total: 10 points
Engine companies: ISO compares the number of in-service pumpers and the equipment carried with the number of needed pumpers and the equipment identified in the FSRS. The number of needed engines depends on the basic fire flow, the size of the area served, and the method of operation.
Reserve pumpers: ISO evaluates the number of reserve pumpers and their pump capacity; other factors include hose and equipment carried.
Pump capacity: ISO compares the pump capacity of the in-service and reserve pumpers (and pumps on other apparatus) with the basic fire flow. ISO considers a maximum basic fire flow of 3,500 gpm.
Ladder/service companies: Communities use ladders, tools, and equipment normally carried on ladder trucks for ladder operations, as well as for forcible entry, utility shut-off, ventilation, salvage, overhaul, and lighting. The number and type of apparatus depend on the height of the buildings, needed fire flow, and size of the area served.
Reserve ladder/service trucks: ISO evaluates the number of reserve ladder/service trucks and the equipment they carry.
Deployment analysis: ISO credits the percentage of the community within specified response distances of pumpers (1.5 miles) and ladder/service apparatus (2.5 miles). As an alternative, a fire protection area may use the results of a systemic performance evaluation. That type of evaluation analyzes CAD history to demonstrate that, with its current deployment of companies, the fire department meets the time constraints for initial arriving engine and initial full-alarm assignment. The timing is in accordance with the general criteria in NFPA 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments.
Personnel: ISO credits the personnel available to respond to first alarms for structure fires. For personnel not normally in the fire station (on-call and off-duty members), ISO reduces credit for the responding members to reflect the time needed for notification, travel, and assembly on the fireground. ISO then applies an upper limit for the credit for personnel because it is impractical for a very large number of personnel to operate a piece of apparatus.
Training: Trained personnel are vital to a competent fire suppression force. ISO evaluates training facilities and their use; company training at fire stations; training and certification of fire officers; driver/operator, hazardous materials, and recruit training; and building familiarization and preincident planning inspections.
Operational considerations: ISO credits the standard operating procedures for structure firefighting and the establishment of an incident management system.
Fire department total: 50 points
Supply system: ISO compares the available water supply at representative community locations with the needed fire flows for those locations. The supply works, water main capacity, or fire hydrant distribution may limit the available supply.
Hydrant size, type, and installation: ISO evaluates the design and installation of fire hydrants.
Inspection and fire flow testing of hydrants: ISO evaluates the frequency and completeness of fire hydrant inspections and the flow-testing program, which can include the use of calibrated hydraulic molding. ISO also includes credit for hydrant marking.
Water supply total: 40 points
Fire prevention code adoption and enforcement: This section assesses the Fire Prevention Code adoption and enforcement capabilities of a community. Items evaluated include adoption and maintenance of one of the model codes; number and qualifications of fire prevention personnel, including certification and continuing education; and fire prevention programs, such as plan review, certificate of occupancy inspections, quality control, code compliance, inspection of private fire protection equipment, fire prevention ordinances, and coordination with fire department training and preincident planning activities.
Public fire safety education: ISO evaluates the existence of a fire safety education program; the qualifications, training, and certifications of public fire safety educators; and the activities of the various public fire safety education programs, such as residential fire safety programs, fire safety education in schools, juvenile firesetter education programs, and fire safety education in occupancies with large loss potential or hazardous conditions.
Fire investigation: This section examines the fire investigation activities of a community and is based on establishing authority to conduct and enforce fire investigations, the number and qualifications of fire investigators, the activities of the fire investigation staff, and the use of the National Fire Incident Reporting System.
Community risk reduction total: 5.5 points
Survey total: 105.5 points