The Insurance Services Office (ISO) recently completed an analysis of the structural fire suppression delivery system provided in Tamaqua.  The ISO analysis then establishes a scoring system. ISO gives fire suppression delivery systems a numeric score with, Class 1 being the best fire suppression a community could possibly have, down to Class 10 which means there’s not much, if any, fire suppression systems in the community.

As a result the Borough’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) has improved from a Class 4 rating to a Class 2 rating.  Tamaqua is one of only 11 communities in Pennsylvania to receive a 2 PPC rating out of 2,432 rated municipalities in Pennsylvania.  The new PPC rating takes effect March 2018.

The ISO analysis evaluates the water delivery system, 911 communication system, and fire department equipment and training.  The last ISO analysis occurred in 2007, which resulted in a 4 PPC rating.  Since 2007, the Tamaqua Water Authority has been improving the water delivery system with upgrades to the water lines and additional new fire hydrants.  In 2017 the Schuylkill County 911 Communication Center underwent a major improvement in equipment.  And, the four fire companies of the Tamaqua Fire Department have been keeping pace with new fire apparatus, equipment and training.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program (PPC) plays an important role in the underwriting process of insurance companies.  In fact, most United States insurers use PPC information as part of their decision-making when deciding what business to write, coverage to offer or prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance.

Each insurance company independently determines the premiums it charges its policyholders.  The way an insurer uses ISO’s information on public fire protection may depend on several things such as the company’s fire-loss experience, ratemaking methodology, underwriting guidelines, and its marketing strategy.

PPC is important to communities and fire departments as well.  Communities whose PPC improves may get lower insurance prices.  PPC also provides fire departments with a valuable benchmark and is used by many departments as a valuable tool when planning, budgeting and justifying fire protection improvements.

At this time the Tamaqua Fire Department is rolling out its annual mail fund drive.  Most businesses and residents of Tamaqua will receive a letter and donation request in the mail.  With the good news of the lower PPC rating, the department hopes more people will respond to the request for donations.  The income generated from this fund drive is shared equally between the four fire companies.  Responses may be mailed in or dropped off at the Tamaqua Municipal Building, 320 East Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252.  The Tamaqua Fire Department thanks everyone in the community for their support.