On April 1, 2012 new fire protection rates will begin taking effect for property insurance policies within the Cloquet Area Fire District (CAFD). In June 2011 the CAFD underwent an exhaustive evaluation by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO) to determine what effect the creation of the CAFD would have on overall fire protection within the cities we serve. The rating system, known as the ISO Public Protection Classification Rating, is designed to give insurance companies an independent means to measure the efficiency and capabilities of various fire departments. The rating system awards a class between 1 and 10, with a rating of 10 being essentially no organized fire protection capabilities, and a 1 being recognized as one of the best systems in the country.
In Minnesota, fire departments have received ratings from 3 to 10 with no Class 1 or 2 departments in the state. In January ISO released the new classification ratings, and the results of this review have shown that the creation of the CAFD has improved the level of fire protection to every community that we serve. The ratings are split between areas protected by fire hydrants and those that are not. The areas of the CAFD protected by fire hydrants rated as follows; the City of Cloquet dropped from a Class 5 to a Class 4, the City of Scanlon dropped from a Class 6 to a Class 4. The areas of the CAFD not protected by fire hydrants, including Perch Lake Township, dropped from a Class 7 to a Class 6. This Classification change in the areas without hydrants was substantial, and ISO’s Doug Sele stated, “In my experience, a Class 6 for a non-hydranted area is rare and everyone should take some pride in that classification since the vast majority of hauled water areas result in Class 7 or 8.” These new ratings place the level of fire protection provided by the CAFD in the top 7% of fire departments in Minnesota.
A variety of outside organizations have identified the CAFD as a service delivery model and highlighted the success of the CAFD over the last two years. The improved ISO Public Protection Classifications show that the CAFD is not only more efficient and economically stable, but is also providing a higher level of service to the public than was possible by stand-a-lone fire departments in each community. While property insurance rates are made up of many factors, the fire protection provided by the CAFD results in a real and tangible benefit to every property in the District. The CAFD continues to focus on being the most efficient and economic emergency service provider possible, and we take great pride that our success results in benefits for every citizen in the District.