Fire chief says ranking puts community/fire department in top 5% nationally, and 1.5% in Minnesota.

The City of Crookston recently received an improvement in the city’s Public Protection Classification for fire protection. A ranking of 02/2Y puts the city in the top 5 percent nationally among the 46,000 communities evaluated across the country, and among the top 1.5 percent of the 778 fire departments in Minnesota. Only 13 communities in Minnesota achieved a 2 rank.

    “This is unbelievable for a city of our size,” Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber said. “We’re very, very proud and we’ve worked very, very hard on this.”

    Many factors are considered when deriving a PPC score including emergency communications, fire department infrastructure, personnel and training, water supply system capacity and testing, along with community education efforts.

    Froeber the study that goes into determining the ratings is based 10% on the local dispatch center, 40% on the water supply, and 50% on the local fire department in general. The last comprehensive survey from a decade ago returned a local rating of 3. It’s based on a scale of 1 to 10, he explained, with the lower the number, the better the rating. “Three is an excellent number,” Froeber noted. The survey was updated in 2014 and the rating remained unchanged as a result. A full update commenced this past March, and the improved rating of 2 was the result. “At one time we thought (a rating of) 3 was unbelievable, so this is a big deal,” he added.

    Froeber said the highest rating of 1 would be impossible to achieve in Crookston, given the size of the full-time firefighter staff. “That would never be possible with two duty guys,” he said, joking that if the City wanted to hire eight or nine more full-time firefighters they’d certainly try to achieve a rating of 1.

    “This is truly a collaborative effort between the Fire Department, Water Division of Public Works and Polk County Dispatch services,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “Fire Chief Tim Froeber has been instrumental in coordinating these efforts and advocating for equipment, training and public education which are vital components to the classification.”

    PPC is a nationwide standard determined and evaluated by the Insurance Services Office, a subsidiary of Versick Analytics, and plays an important role in the underwriting process for insurance companies. Most U.S. insurers use PPC information as part of their decision making on pricing for personal or commercial property. Homeowners and business owners alike should check with their insurance providers to see if this new improved classification may help them reduce rates.