Tom Weber

Former National Director, Community Hazard Mitigation, Verisk. Tom Weber is now retired.

Celebrating President Truman’s firefighting legacy: The 17th Annual Truman Legacy Symposium

By Tom Weber
July 17, 2019

For 17 years, the Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida, has honored President Harry S. Truman with an annual symposium. This year’s event (May 5 and 6) was hosted by the Key West Little White House, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), and many corporate sponsors.

Words of wisdom from a firefighting specialist: An interview with Chief Jeff DeGraffenreid, Olathe, Kansas

By Tom Weber
July 17, 2019

Dr. Jeff DeGraffenreid serves as the fire chief and director of emergency management for the City of Olathe, Kansas. He’s a frequent conference speaker and has authored many articles and textbook chapters on varied emergency service topics. Dr. DeGraffenreid currently sits on the editorial board of the International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management, and he has traveled the world working on some of the most significant disasters.

The hidden killers of firefighters

By Tom Weber
March 13, 2019

A career in the fire/emergency service is one of the most rewarding a person can have. The feeling you get when you make a positive impact on someone’s life—perhaps even saving that life—is hard to beat. Those experiences are why many of us become firefighters and why we stay in the service both as professionals and volunteers. Of course, firefighting is also an extremely dangerous career, and those dangers go beyond the obvious perils of responding to fires and other emergencies.

The importance of decontamination and cleaning - You make the call

By Tom Weber
March 11, 2019

Contrary to public perception, the major cause of death for firefighters is not fire—it’s cancer. From January 1, 2002, to March 31, 2017, cancer caused 61 percent of career firefighter line-of-duty deaths, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), with 70 percent in 2016 alone.

Verisk’s Commitment to Safer Communities

By Tom Weber
August 14, 2018

It’s been happening for years: firefighters and department staff are dealing less and less with actual fires and more and more with other emergency and nonemergency calls for service. The trend is no secret in the fire service.

Providing the best fire protection possible: An interview with Chief Randy Bruegman, Anaheim Fire & Rescue

By Tom Weber
February 28, 2018

Anaheim Fire & Rescue (AFR) has earned a very rare status. First, in March 2014, AFR received accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), a distinction less than 1 percent of 30,000 fire agencies internationally have received. Next, ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC®) program designated AFR’s fire district a Class 1, a rank only 287 cities nationally (30 in California) have earned.

ISO Community Hazard Mitigation outreach: A review of 2017

By Tom Weber
February 27, 2018

ISO is a Verisk business, and we at ISO Community Hazard Mitigation believe very strongly in delivering Verisk’s core values: Serve. Add Value. Innovate. One of the most significant ways in which we do that is to partner with communities throughout the United States to help make them safer.

Benchmarking for improvement: ISO and ESCI team up

By Tom Weber
September 4, 2017

How do you demonstrate to the people and community you serve that you’re doing a good job? Do you have a clear, definitive method to show you provide quality service with the resources you have? What data points are appropriate for a true peer review and accurate comparison of your service delivery?

The importance of benchmarking fire departments: An interview with Stuart McElhaney of ESCI

By Brad Bain, Tom Weber
September 2, 2017

Benchmarking a fire department against its peers is an essential tool in measuring that department’s ability to deliver services to the community. The analysis can help inform strategic planning, budget requests, staffing decisions, equipment purchases, training needs, and more. However, many communities aren’t equipped to make these analyses on their own, because they consume valuable time and limited resources.

Accurate records key to efficient ISO grading

A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. Insurers recognize this and generally offer lower premiums in communities with better protection. To determine a community’s fire protection ability, many insurers rely on ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, which evaluates and rates municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States.

ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule

Our Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is free to chiefs and other fire officials. It's a manual containing the criteria Verisk uses in reviewing the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of individual communities or fire protection areas. To recieve a copy of the FSRS, contact our National Processing Center at 1-800-444-4554 and select Option 2.

H2O and Verisk

Water supply and distribution systems are important factors in determining a community’s ISO Public Protection Classification (PPC®). We provide complimentary educational training and seminars to water providers and associations throughout the country. Contact Hugh Gibson, national water resources manager, at for more information.

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