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Saturday, April 20, 2024


Ocean City Fire Department Achieves Class 1 ISO Rating

ISO field representative Jeff Gordon, center, presents a certificate of Class 1 recognition to Ocean City Fire Chief Jim Smith, left, and Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian.

From Ocean City

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Department of Fire and Rescue Services has achieved the Insurance Services Office (ISO) status of Class 1, effective June 1. The classification reflects superior firefighting operations, staffing, training, equipment, responses and community risk reduction, among other factors. It was announced at a news conference at OCFD headquarters on Monday, March 4, 2024.

How many other fire departments are rated Class 1?

Ocean City will join only two other New Jersey fire departments rated as a Class 1. The rating is shared by fewer than 1.5 percent of 40,000 fire departments nationwide. PPC grades fall on a scale 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 ISO’s minimum criteria.

What is the Insurance Services Office?

ISO collects and evaluates information from communities in the United States on their structure fire suppression capabilities. The data is analyzed using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and then a Public Protection Classification (PPC) grade is assigned to a community. The PPC program provides important, up-to-date information about fire protection services throughout the country.

What does it mean to me?

A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses.  Statistical data on insurance losses bears out the relationship between excellent fire protection – as measured by the PPC program – and low fire losses. Insurance companies use PPC information for marketing, underwriting and to help establish fair premiums for homeowners and commercial fire insurance. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC grade is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC grade, assuming all other factors are equal.


Mayor Jay A. Gillian: “Ocean City’s first responders are second to none. I’m proud of their service and public safety will always be a cornerstone of ‘America’s Greatest Family Resort.’”

Fire Chief James P. Smith: “Receiving this award is an excellent acknowledgment of the operations and protection offered by the Ocean City Department of Fire and Rescue Services. I’m grateful to the city for providing the resources to help us attain this rare rating.”

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