Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Skokie Fire Department once again achieved a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO). The ISO rating is made up of three main components — fire department service at 50 percent, water delivery at 40 percent, and emergency communications at 10 percent.

According to Skokie Fire Chief Jim Walters, the first section includes looking at the department’s engine companies, pumping capabilities, aerial truck coverage, the amount of personnel during response missions, and much more. Skokie scored 49.19 out of 50 in that category.

For the water delivery system evaluation, ISO looks at the engineering of the system, the capabilities it can deliver, the needed water flow throughout the village, the hydrants, and more. Skokie scored 36 out of 40 in that category.

Under emergency communications, ISO evaluates how the fire department receives calls and how they are dispatched. Skokie’s department achieved nine of 10 in this area.

57 fire departments in the country hold the ISO Class 1 rating and Skokie is one of only 26 departments in the country to also hold accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

The ISO evaluation is conducted on a five-year cycle and includes site visits, records examination, and observation. Most insurers use ISO and their public classification for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercia,l and industrial property insurance rates.

ISO ratings range from 1, which is the best, through 10, which is the lowest. A fire department must meet 90 percent of the ISO standards to achieve the Class 1 rating, which the Skokie Fire Department did in each of the three main categories.

thanks Dan