Savannah achieves highest ISO rating - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah achieves highest ISO rating

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The city of Savannah and Savannah Fire & Emergency Services have been elevated to among the highest rated cities and fire departments in America, according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

ISO representatives met with Savannah Mayor Edna B. Jackson, Fire Chief Charles G. Middleton, Heath Lloyd with the city's water and sewer department, Cathy Plaster and Lt. Jeff Olson with Metro Communications Center and other staff members Wednesday morning to announce that the city has achieved the coveted ISO-1 classification.

It is the highest rating within ISO's Public Protection Classification program, which evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria that incorporates nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Water Works Association.

ISO, which has been rating fire departments and communities since 1971, conducted a comprehensive review of not only Savannah Fire & Emergency Services but also emergency communications and the city's water department in determining the city's rating.

The classification places Savannah Fire among the elite within the fire service. Of the more than 48,000 departments evaluated by ISO, SFES becomes only the 61st fire department to attain the ISO-1 rating. Less than one-half of one-percent of all fire departments merit the classification.

Chief Middleton says it is the result of a lot of hard work between the fire department's staff and personnel with the water & sewer department and metro communications.

"It's a great accomplishment," Middleton said. "I am very happy not only for the fire department but for all the citizens of Savannah."

ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments and others by providing information about risk.

The ISO staff collects information about municipal fire suppression efforts in communities throughout the country.

Savannah's new ISO classification takes effect beginning Dec. 1.

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