ISO Community Hazard Mitigation has an ongoing program in place to actively work with fire departments on Public Protection Classification (PPC®) and Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) education. As part of this effort, representatives from ISO have been conducting presentations on Tuesday evenings during the “Additional Learning Opportunity” available to students attending the National Fire Academy (NFA) in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
The presentations are focused on helping attendees understand the various sections within the FSRS, the manual containing the criteria ISO uses in reviewing the firefighting capabilities of individual communities. The schedule measures the major elements of a community’s fire suppression system and develops a numerical classification, the community’s PPC.
The key items reviewed during the presentation:
- Emergency communications systems: This includes facilities for the public to report fires, staffing, training, certification of telecommunicators, and facilities for dispatching fire departments.
- Fire department: We review equipment, staffing, training, and geographic deployment of fire companies.
- Water supply system: This section assesses the inspection and flow testing of hydrants and a careful evaluation of the amount of water available compared with the amount needed to suppress fires.
- Community risk reduction: This refers to community efforts to reduce the risk of fire, including fire prevention codes and enforcement, public fire safety education, and fire investigation programs.
The one-hour presentations were developed and conducted as part of our effort to increase outreach to stakeholders. The first presentation was conducted on June 26, 2018. Since then, well over 100 students attending the National Fire Academy have attended one of these presentations. Some feedback follows:
Dr. Kirby Kiefer, deputy superintendent of the National Fire Academy, said, “Students who attend these sessions find them to be very informative and helpful as they plan for the future of their organizations.”
Kevin P. Kuntz, PE, CFPS, UL CRP, ISO, vice president of Risk Engineering for ISO, has participated in several of these programs, providing an overview of ISO and the value of PPC to the community. Kuntz said, “I enjoy these sessions and benefit from them in many ways. It’s a great opportunity to get feedback from those on the front line and reach a better understanding of the issues they face, which can help make us a better partner of the fire service. I’ve also developed many personal relationships and friendships that I truly value.”
The presenters are available at the end of each session for up to an additional 60 minutes to answer questions and provide guidance on the different ways ISO can help implement the FSRS schedule with the goal of improving performance for the community.
ISO looks forward to maintaining this teamwork between ISO and NFA.