Cedar Falls fire protection rating improves - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls fire protection rating improves

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The Cedar Falls Fire Department is always working to improve its services for the community. They're learning now, that hard work is paying off. A national rating agency has upgraded Cedar Falls ISO Public Protection Class rating, from a low 4 to a 3. The change could mean local business owners and home owners will see their insurance premiums drop.

"I think there's a perception that government, by and large, doesn't work. And it's great to see, not only is it working, it's improving and saving us all money," said Cedar Falls business owner Dave Deibler.

The ISO Public Protection Classification program rates thousands of communities nationwide on a scale of 1 to 10. In December, Cedar Falls' class rating will improve from a 4 to a 3. This means the department, and the community, has greatly improved the way it handles emergencies.

"Our training standards picked up, we've added more pumping capacity, our records management is better, our ability to respond is better," explained Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling.

The rating also takes into account the community's water supply, and the dispatch system.

"There's more radio operators and call takers on duty than what was in the past when Cedar Falls had its own dispatch center, the last time we were graded," said Schilling.

According to ISO, almost all insurance companies look at the class rating for your town when setting your home or business premiums.

"To jump from a class 4 to a class 3, will probably be more substantial on community properties. And in the residential arena, there could be some improvement there too," said Schilling.

This does not mean your insurance rates will automatically go down. Chief Schilling recommends you call your agent, tell him or her about the improvements, and see if you can work out a better deal.

Of course, some are skeptical that their premium will change at all.

"Do I think my insurance is going to go down? No! Maybe it won't go up as much," said Deibler.

But when it comes to fire protection, Deibler believes saving a few dollars comes in a far second to saving your business or your life.

"It's not an abstract thought, it represents the fact that they're doing their job really well. And that they're better at it than most people in the state. So I'm proud of them," he said.

Three other Eastern Iowa cities have received high marks as well. Waterloo, Dubuque, and Cedar Rapids are all Class 3 communities. The rankings are not available for public use on the ISO website, so if you're curious how your town rates give your local fire headquarters a call.

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