The City of Arkadelphia’s Fire Department has entered a new Public Protection Classification.
AFD was awarded a Class 3 Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating earlier this year. The new rating took effect on April 1 and is the department’s lowest ISO rating to date.
“This is a very big feat for our city,” Arkadelphia Fire Chief Jason Hunt said. “Our firefighters worked extremely hard on this task. We’re very proud of this accomplishment.”
The ISO is an independent company that analyzes municipal fire departments nationwide using the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The FSRS allows ISO experts to identify the risks in each community and determine how equipped local fire departments are to handle those risks. The lower the ISO rating, the more equipped a fire department is considered to be.
AFD’s Class 3 ISO rating puts Arkadelphia in the top 25% of fire departments nationwide.
“The process is very in-depth,” Chief Hunt said. “The number of firefighters responding to calls, types of fire engines that respond, volume of water supplied by city fire hydrants, all of our records on training, apparatus and building inspections – These are all areas the inspectors looked at when determining our new ISO rating.”
Local residents and businesses may be experiencing the benefits of the new ISO rating. Most insurance companies use a city’s ISO rating when calculating premiums. Arkadelphia’s Mayor, Dr. Scott Byrd, talked about how his business is benefiting at the Board of Directors’ July 18 meeting.
“I noticed we’re saving $200 annually on our business insurance thanks to the new ISO rating,” Mayor Byrd said. “Thank you to our fire department for their hard work and to our residents for passing the Move Arkadelphia Forward tax initiative. This new rating was achieved because of the improvements made possible by the tax initiative.”
In April 2023, the fire department added Fire Rescue 2 to its fleet. The $1-million truck was made possible by the Move Arkadelphia Forward tax initiative and has proven to be a life-saving asset for AFD.
Chief Hunt and Mayor Byrd encourage residents and businesses to talk with their insurance providers about the new ISO rating to see if similar savings are available.
The ISO evaluates fire departments every five years.