VICTORVILLE — In its first independent-industry review since transitioning to a city-run fire department, Victorville Fire improved its ISO rating from a “Class 3” to a “Class 2” and is now ranked among the top six percent of fire departments in the nation. Victorville Fire’s new rating, which will take effect on July 1, serves as an important benchmark in evaluating the department’s effectiveness.
Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) conducted the independent evaluation of how well-equipped the fire department is to put out fires in the Victorville community. Insurance agencies use the score to establish rates. In general, a lower ISO rating could offer residents and business owners a more favorable underwriting experience when it comes to securing homeowner or commercial insurance coverage.
ISO scores range from one to 10 with one being the best possible rating. Of the 38,747 fire departments in the U.S., only 459 have achieved the top rating of 1. City officials say that "Victorville Fire’s rating of 2 places the department in an elite group of just 1,873 fire departments in the nation." Victorville now joins other fire departments who also have a Class 2 rating including San Luis Obispo.
“We are extremely proud of our Victorville Fire Department for achieving such a favorable ISO Rating within just three years of transitioning to a city-run department,” said Victorville Mayor Debra Jones. “This achievement underscores our City’s commitment to providing excellent public safety services to our community.”
To determine its ISO Rating, Victorville Fire was evaluated on four key criteria including the quality of the fire department, water supply, the area’s emergency communication system, and community outreach and fire prevention.
“Our ISO Rating serves as a valuable benchmark of how well Victorville Fire is adhering to national standards and industry best practices, and we’re proud to have accomplished this on behalf of the Community,” said Victorville Fire Chief Jeff Armstrong. “I am proud to be a part of this outstanding team of professionals.”
The Victorville Fire Department was last evaluated in 2016. Typically, fire departments are evaluated every 10 years unless there is a significant change like the department’s transition to being city-run in 2019.
The history of the Victorville Fire Department dates to 1926 when the Victorville County Fire Protection District was established. In 1930, the Victorville Volunteer Fire Department was established. In 1976, approximately 14 years after Victorville was incorporated, control of the Victorville Fire Protection District was assumed by the City of Victorville. In March 2019, the City of Victorville re-established its Fire Department after contracting the fire services from San Bernardino County for about a decade. The Victorville Fire Department is currently staffed with 70 personnel, and the department is led by Fire Chief Jeff Armstrong.