The New Rochelle Fire Department was developed 150 years ago because of the fear of fire. Today Fire Suppression is still our primary mission. We have added many other services over the years, but Fire is still the 1 that requires the most resources and has the greatest potential for loss of life and property. Due to aggressive code enforcement efforts and fire prevention education training the number of fires in New Rochelle has dropped off significantly since the 1960’s and 1970’s, but we still have over 40 serious structure fires every year.
From 1861 until the late 1890’s the NRFD was 100% volunteer fire department. At the beginning of the 1900’s the City started to hire a few “Station Men” to care for the horses, equipment and stations. In 1927 the Chamber of Commerce determined that the property owners could save money if they switched to a 100% career force, due to reduced property insurance premiums.
In NYS the ratings are broken down as shown. NRFD is PPC #2 The Insurance Service Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification (PPC) is an objective review of those features of available public fire protection that have significant influence on minimizing damage once a fire has occurred.
All 34,000 Fire Departments in the U.S. are rated by the ISO. They rate on a 1-10 scale with 1 the best and 10 is no fire department. This rating is the primary factor in setting fire insurance premiums. In NYS the ratings are broken down as listed above:
Fire Protection is the ONLY municipal service where improved
capability can result in savings to taxpayers through reduced property
insurance premiums. Improvements in PPC help in economic development. It
is an indicator of a community’s commitment to the Fire Department.
In 1997 New Rochelle improved from a PPC Class 3 (which it held for 70 years) to a PPC Class 2.