Girdwood Insurance Services Office Protection Class Rating

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) surveys communities on a regular basis to gauge the ability of a local fire department to respond to fires. In August 2016 ISO visited Girdwood for a re-evaluation of our fire protection class. Property insurance companies use this data to set fire insurance rates. Our previous rating was 4/5

Our rating is 2/4.

·         Class “2” applies to areas within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant.
·         Class “4” applies to areas greater than 1000 feet from a fire hydrant.

This will result in a very significant reduction in insurance rates within the Girdwood Fire Service Areas

A Community's fire protection information is collected and analyzed by ISO using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. A classification of 1 to 10 is then assigned based upon the results of the survey. Class 1 is the best rating, and Class 10 is basically an indication of no fire protection. The ISO Public Protection Classification is used by the Insurance industry in determining insurance premiums for properties within the community.

A variety of factors are examined when ISO conducts their survey. They look at the community's water supply, dispatch (communications) center, and fire department. Each factor receives a rating, and those ratings are considered together to determine the final Public Protection Classification.

Since our last evaluation in 2011 we have placed a lot of emphasis on documentation and training requirements. We have completed advanced State of Alaska certified level fire training including Firefighter One, Firefighter Two, Engineer (Driver, pump operator) and emergency vehicle driver for our membership.  In addition we have completed an extensive pre-fire planning process for all commercial and mulit family occupancies in our fire service district. Upgrades to equipment and supplies carried by fire response apparatus have contributed to our evaluation. An award winning Community Risk Reduction Plan was also instrumental in our success.

Credit goes to the Anchorage Fire Department for improvements in our shared dispatch and communication center.

Credit also goes to the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU) for achieving a nearly perfect score for the quality of our water supply system.


Girdwood, with a rating of “2” for areas with fire hydrants area and “4” for our areas without hydrants compares very favorably with other communities in Alaska.


The graph shows that only two fire departments in the State of Alaska are able to match the Girdwood Fire Department’s level of protection for areas with fire hydrants.




On a national scale, we do even better.


The graph depicts the very low percentage of fire departments across the nation that have attained a class 2 or higher rating, 1.5% to be exact. Only an additional 17.2% are able to meet class 4 criteria.