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Mon, Oct. 19

Tusayan Fire earns top national ISO ratings
Rating reduces insurance premiums for residents and business owners

Tusayan Fire District (TFD) new ISO rating is the highest TFD has ever received, placing TFD in the top 25 percent of fire departments in the nation. Many insurance companies take into account ISO ratings, and often the better the rating, the lower the insurance premiums, according to TFD. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

Tusayan Fire District (TFD) new ISO rating is the highest TFD has ever received, placing TFD in the top 25 percent of fire departments in the nation. Many insurance companies take into account ISO ratings, and often the better the rating, the lower the insurance premiums, according to TFD. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

TUSAYAN, Ariz. — Earlier this year, the Tusayan Fire District (TFD) received 67.59 out of 105.5 possible points on their Public Protection Classification (PPC). The new rating is the highest TFD has ever received, and places TFD in the top 25 percent of fire departments in the nation.

PPC is an audit performed by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which creates ratings for fire departments and their surrounding communities.

Tusayan Fire Chief Greg Brush said the department has worked toward this rating for the past five years.

"TFD has been preparing for this audit since 2015,” he said. “Efforts have been stepped up to raise each category of grading. Fortunately, this has all paid off.”

Brush said he was grateful to the Tusayan Town Council for providing TFD with financial assistance.

"We are extremely appreciative for the financial support that the Town of Tusayan has provided to date. Addressing our ISO rating has always been a major priority, and I’m happy to share news of return from that investment" he said.

Tusayan Fire also expressed its appreciation to the National Park Service dispatch for their level of quality personnel as well as equipment in the 911 call center.

The rating is based on credits earned, which was broken down into emergency communications (6.28 credits), fire department (30.88 credits), water supply (27.06 credits) and community risk reduction (4.55 credits) for a total of 67.59 credits earned for the department. An additional 5.5 percent is added to the score to account for community outreach programs.

Brush also expressed gratitude to the Tusayan Sanitary District for improvements made to hydrants, which increased TFD's water score to a full 40 percent.

"(Tusayan's) water supply is crucial,” he said. “TFD has benefited from the Tusayan Sanitary District’s upgrades.”

The upgrades make it possible for the town to have sufficient potable as well as reclaimed water supply in order to fight fires in the area while maintaining water pressure for the town.

"Having two completely separate water systems, sufficient pressure and flow can potentially be maintained. If we tap two adjacent hydrants on the same water main, it's not going to double the available water,” Brush said.

High score translate to lower insurance premiums

As of July 1, TFD's score was made available to homeowners and business insurance providers. Many insurance companies take into account ISO ratings, and often the better the rating, the lower the insurance premiums.

Recently, TFD sent out a letter to businesses in town, encouraging them to check with their insurance carriers regarding the possibility of lowered premiums. So far, no one has reported to TFD regarding their premiums. Brush expressed concern that perhaps there are still businesses in the area that may be unaware of the changes and encourages residents and business owners to offer feedback to the department.

Future concerns

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lower town revenues, Brush expressed concerns over future funding for TFD.

"We want to do everything possible to maintain our current ISO rating, we do not want to ever have the businesses or residents pay a higher premium. This is why we appreciate the assistance from the town of Tusayan. It's been crucial in us achieving the staffing required for this level of grade" he said.

After receiving the rating, TFD must maintain their current level of standards in order to keep their high score.

“(I’m) hopeful that the town of Tusayan can continue to provide the financial support for the coming years to benefit all the residents and businesses here. We will always continue to attempt a higher ISO rating,” Brush said. “My only fear is that if we lose staffing due to financial limitations, we will not be able to maintain our newest rating.”

More information is available at tusayanfire.org.

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