Public Information

For Immediate Release

Release Date: 12/14/2015

Baton Rouge Fire Department Once Again Gets Top Class 1 Rating

Class 1 rating means property owners will continue to pay lowest possible premiums for their insurance

The Baton Rouge Fire Department (BRFD) has once again achieved a Class 1 rating, the highest rating issued by Property Insurance Association of Louisiana. The Class 1 rating means that the homes and businesses in the BRFD's jurisdiction will continue to pay the lowest possible premiums for their property insurance.

BRFD is one of 130 departments in the nation and one of four in Louisiana to achieve the highest rating that a fire department can receive. In 1979 BRFD became the first Fire Department in the United States to receive a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Service Office, Inc. (ISO), an independent rating organization for the property/casualty insurance industry. BRFD has retained the Class 1 rating for the past 35 years.

All U.S. fire departments are required to undergo the rating process every 5 years, which consists of many different factors, including but not limited to training, communications, manpower, response times, and continuing education.

In announcing the continuation of BRFD's top rating, Baton Rouge Fire Chief Ed Smith first credits the men and women of his department that risk it all everyday.

"Our fire department personnel continue to be the best of the best," Chief Smith said. "They deserve much of the credit for the professionalism they bring to the citizens of Baton Rouge day in and day out. I am honored to lead such a fine group of men and woman."

The Chief noted that the water company also plays a major role in the rating as it pertains to water supply and hydrant locations.

Chief Smith also credited Mayor Melvin L. "Kip" Holden and the Metro Council for providing the backing needed for his department to retain the highest possible rating.

"Training, manpower, and equipment all play a part in the rating, and the Mayor and Council have consistently supported the Fire Department as it strives to maintain its Class 1 rating," Chief Smith said.

Mayor Holden noted that Public Safety, including fire protection, has remained his top priority throughout his 11 years at the helm of City-Parish government.

"The top Class 1 rating is something that is easy to take for granted, until the unthinkable happens and you need BRFD to respond to an emergency," Mayor Holden. "We should all consider ourselves fortunate to live in a city with one of the top fire departments in the United States."

Baton Rouge is the only city in the State of Louisiana that is accredited or has a number one rating in the areas of fire protection, police protection, emergency medical services, and emergency preparedness.

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