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City of Bristol
300 Lee Street
Bristol, VA 24201

Ph: (276) 645-7300

ISO Class 2

The Bristol Virginia Fire Department is proud to protect lives and property. Our dedicated and well-trained crews respond to emergencies of all types - natural and man-made. We are on duty 24/7 to serve the citizens and visitors of Bristol, VA.

Our efforts were recognized by the Insurance Services Office in 2016 when the Bristol Virginia Fire Department was evaluated and designated as an ISO Class 2 Fire Department under the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The FSRS is the manual ISO uses in reviewing the fire-fighting capabilities of individual communities. The schedule measures the major elements of a community's fire-suppression system and develops a numerical grading called a Public Protection Classification. Our goal is to constantly improve and provide the best possible service to our customers. 

The ISO rating is comprised of the following areas:

Emergency Communications
Ten percent of the overall grading is based on how well the fire department receives fire alarms and dispatches its fire-fighting resources. ISO representatives evaluate the communications center, looking at the number of operators at the center; the telephone service, including the number of telephone lines coming into the center; and the listing of emergency numbers in the telephone book. Field representatives also look at the dispatch circuits and how the center notifies firefighters about the location of the emergency.

Fire Department Operations 
Fifty percent of the overall grading is based on the number of engine companies and the amount of water a community needs to fight a fire. ISO reviews the distribution of fire companies throughout the area and checks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly and inventories each engine company's nozzles, hoses, breathing apparatus, and other equipment. ISO also reviews the fire-company records to determine:
  • type and extent of training provided to fire-company personnel
  • number of people who participate in training
  • firefighter response to emergencies
  • maintenance and testing of the fire department's equipment

Water Supply
Forty percent of the grading is based on the community's water supply. This part of the survey focuses on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. ISO surveys all components of the water supply system, including pumps, storage, and filtration. To determine the rate of flow the water mains provide, ISO observes fire-flow tests at representative locations in the community. Finally, ISO evaluates the distribution of fire hydrants.

Community Risk Reduction

Fire prevention code adoption and enforcement: This section assesses the Fire Prevention Code adoption and enforcement capabilities of a community. Items evaluated include adoption and maintenance of one of the model codes; number and qualifications of fire prevention personnel, including certification and continuing education; and fire prevention programs, such as plan review, certificate of occupancy inspections, quality control, code compliance, inspection of private fire protection equipment, fire prevention ordinances, and coordination with fire department training and pre-incident planning activities.