Los Alamos Fire Department Chief Troy Hughes, second from right, accepts a certificate memorializing LAFD’s ISO Class 1 designation Monday from Acting State Fire Marshal John Kondratick, third from right. Also pictured are, from left, Capt. Derrick Rodriguez, LAFD Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dawald, Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Varela, Kondratick, Hughes, and LAFD Management Analyst Xavier Anderson. Photo by Louisa Martinez
In August 2020, the Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) was evaluated by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators and others by providing information about risk. They analyze the relevant data and assign a Public Protection Classification (PPC) grade, a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet minimum criteria.
This standard evaluation is conducted every four (4) years. The evaluation of the fire department gauges all aspects of response to establish a fire department’s PPC rating. ISO’s PPC program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria, incorporating national recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Water Works Association. The PPC grade depends on needed fire flows, emergency communications, fire department resources, geographic distribution of fire companies, community risk reduction and water supply. Points are scored in each of these areas using a 105.5 total point scale. The more points that are scored, the better the ISO fire rating.
LAFD has had an ISO PPC class rating of 2 since December 2006. The department’s commitment to continuous improvement over the last fourteen (14) years has led to an upgrade in classification, enhanced service delivery, and community coverage. In January of this year LAFD was notified that our efforts were successful in achieving an ISO PPC Class 1 designation. LAFD is the only fire department that protects a Department of Energy facility with an ISO PPC rating of 1. LAFD joins Albuquerque Fire & Rescue and Las Cruces Fire Department as the only departments in New Mexico with an ISO-1 PPC rating. In addition to being one of only 3 agencies in New Mexico with an ISO PPC rating of 1, the department joins the top 1% nationally in their PPC. Communities whose PPC improves may get lower insurance prices. PPC also provides fire departments with a valuable benchmark and is used by many departments as a valuable tool when planning, budgeting and justifying fire protection improvements.
In a small, socially distanced ceremony held on Monday, Acting New Mexico State Fire Marshal John Kondratick and Deputy State Fire Marshal Randy Varela presented Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes with a certificate memorializing the ISO Class 1 designation.