ISO 1 Rating / CFAI Accredited

ISO 1 Rating

What is ISO?
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) uses the Public Protection Classification to gauge the ability of a local fire department to respond to fires. A community's public fire protection information is collected and analyzed by ISO using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. A Classification of 1 to 10 is then assigned based upon the results of the survey. Class 1 is the highest rating, and Class 10 is an indication of no fire protection.

How does the ISO rating affect me?
The ISO Public Protection Classification is used by the insurance industry in determining insurance premiums for properties within the community. Call 800-888-4476 for more information.

What is the City of Sioux Falls’ ISO rating?
The City of Sioux Falls has a Class 1 rating. This rating places Sioux Falls Fire Rescue in the top .25 percent of over 48,000 rated fire departments in the United States.

CFAI Accredited

What is Accreditation?
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue received international accreditation in 2003. Fire service accreditation is administered by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), and requires an embedded culture of quality throughout an organization. Maintaining accreditation is a significant undertaking and requires the combined best efforts of all members of the department. Accreditation necessitates the development and maintenance of several key documents including a Strategic Plan, Self-Assessment Manual (SAM) and a Standards of Cover (SOC) and Community Risk Assessment.

Why did SFFR pursue accreditation?

  • Conducting a comprehensive assessment and identifying areas where we could improve was a responsible course of action, and we felt it was the right thing to do. Having a detailed evaluation for our use provides a basis for good decision making.
  • It reassures the citizens we serve and ultimately protect their interest and investment in the City of Sioux Falls.
  • Assists us in maintaining our ISO 1 rating.
  • Provides an internal and external review of the services we provide to the community.
  • The promotion of excellence in our organization is an initiative that both management and labor are fully committed to. Accreditation was a recognized framework to guide this endeavor.
  • Accreditation provides assurances to our stakeholders that we are doing a good job. Stakeholders in our organization include the citizens we serve, businesses, neighboring agencies and others.
  • Accreditation allows us to showcase our capabilities and quality. Assessments of our agency have the transparency of external peer review.
  • Fosters pride within our organization. o Expanded the Department’s organizational knowledge including its business operations.
  • Provides a long-lasting shared knowledge of the organization and provides a foundation for sound succession management.
  • Brought our membership together to build a better organization.
  • Determined the Department’s strengths, weaknesses, limitations and opportunities for improved service.
  • Provided a method to analyze the services provided by SFFR and how best to deliver those services.

What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a comprehensive assessment and evaluation model for fire and emergency service organizations. The accreditation process helps to determine community risks and fire safety needs, evaluates the performance of an agency, and provides a method for continuous improvement. The accreditation and certification bodies change requirements over time requiring accredited agencies to continue to evolve and improve.
The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) is governed by an 11-member commission representing a cross-section of the fire service industry, including fire departments, city and county management, code councils, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Association of Firefighters. The full Commission meets bi-annually to review all agencies applying for accreditation or reaccreditation status.

Are CFAI Accreditation and ISO Class the same?
No. CFAI is the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. ISO is the Insurance Services Office. ISO ratings are somewhat limited in their application because they are related mostly to firefighting operations. As noted in the ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, “The Schedule is a fire insurance rating tool and is not intended to analyze all aspects of a comprehensive public fire protection program. It should not be used for purposes other than insurance rating.” CFAI accreditation takes a far broader look at an organization. Within the accreditation model are ten categories that fire agencies use as the basis to benchmark and evaluate performance. These categories are:

  • Governance and Administration
  • Assessment and Planning
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Financial Resources
  • Programs
  • Physical Resources
  • Human Resources
  • Training and Competency
  • Essential Resources
  • External Systems Relations