The Countryside Fire Protection District has achieved an Insurance Services Office (ISO) Class 2 rating; an improvement of the previous Class 3 rating from 2010. The rating scale is from 1 to 10, Class 1 represents the best. Countryside joins only 4.5% of Fire Department in Illinois that are a Class 2. (89 out of 1,970 IL Fire Departments).

ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS), evaluates four primary categories of fire suppression — fire department, emergency communications, water supply, and community risk reduction. An ISO field representative visited Countryside and Fire District staff provided him with comprehensive data and maps of fire responses, standard operating guidelines, water systems & fire hydrants, apparatus & equipment, staffing, training, dispatch operations, fire prevention and education programs.

“Proudly, the Countryside Fire Dispatch Center potion of the review attained a perfect score,” said Countryside’s Chief Jeff Steingart. The Dispatch Center is co-located at the Vernon Hills Police Department and also dispatches for Libertyville and Knollwood Fire Departments.

Well established partnerships and collaboration with other area fire agencies in the form of automatic/joint responses and water departments that test and maintain fire hydrants contributed to the success of the improved rating. Additionally, the District’s Fire Prevention Bureau rated high in the community risk reduction category for the fire inspection, fire & life safety education and fire investigation programs.

Chief Steingart stated the District will dig deep into the details of the rating and look to improve to a class 1 in the future.

Through the Public Protection Classification (PPC®) program, ISO evaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. ISO is an international company, which insurance companies use when determining homeowners’ insurance rates. The new rating could potentially decrease business and residential insurance premiums. Property owners in the Countryside Fire Protection District should check with their insurance agent.

The Countryside Fire Protection District is also Internationally Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and provides service to a 24 square mile district in southeastern Lake County, IL that includes Vernon Hills, Hawthorn Woods, Long Grove, Kildeer, Indian Creek and Unincorporated areas of Lake County.