The Seattle Fire Department has received the top protection class rating from the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau on Thursday, placing it among the top 1% of fire departments nationwide. 

SFD is the first fire department in Washington to receive the rating.

Effective July 1, SFD will be rated Protection Class 1 by the bureau, a nonprofit insurance rating agency for fire departments, fire districts and regional fire authorities in the state of Washington, according to a release from the city.

According to SFD, most insurance companies insuring property in the state use the bureau’s protection class and loss cost data to set insurance premiums. If a property is within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant and within five miles of a Seattle Fire Station, it will be classified under the city of Seattle’s Protection Class 1, and policy holders could receive reduced fire premiums.

The department was rated as a Protection Class 2 during its last evaluation in 2015 but increased the rating through a new training information management system, voluntary leadership training for company officers and other improvements, according to Chief Harold Scoggins.

“I am incredibly proud of the team at SFD for this significant accomplishment which shows our commitment to serving our residents,” Scoggins said in a written statement Thursday. “I also want to extend my gratitude to the Finance and Administrative Services department who oversees our fleets and to Seattle Public Utilities who maintains fire hydrants in the city for their collaboration during this process.”

It is the first time the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau has given the rating to any department in the state in the bureau’s more than 100-year history. 

“While this announcement confirms SFD’s especially effective approach to fire protection, we know their innovation and public safety leadership extends further, from Health One to helping administer over 330,000 lifesaving vaccines during this pandemic,” Mayor Bruce Harrell said. “Chief Scoggins, Local 27 President Kenny Stuart, and every Seattle firefighter and SFD staff member deserve our gratitude for their efforts to create a safer, healthier Seattle.” 

The next evaluation will begin in 2026.