Lenexa Receives Top Rating for Fire Protection

LENEXA, Kan. – The City of Lenexa has achieved the distinction of having the top-rated fire-protection service in a five-state area. Effective July 1, Lenexa becomes a Class 1 community based on the Insurance Services Office (ISO) independent rating system for measuring the quality and effectiveness of municipal fire protection.

Lenexa is one of only 60 cities out of 48,000 surveyed in the U.S. to have earned an elite ISO Class 1 rating. Less than a quarter of 1 percent meet this high standard. Lenexa has held a Class 2 rating since 2007, an improvement over its previous Class 3/4 rating. There are currently no other Class 1 communities in Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska or Iowa. The Lenexa Fire Department, accredited since 2002 by the Commission of Fire Accreditation International, joins an elite group of 17 out of 192 accredited agencies to attain an ISO Class 1 rating.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification ratings are used to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties. The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps fire departments plan and budget for facilities, equipment and training. ISO’s evaluation program includes 10 classifications, with 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest.

“The Lenexa Fire Department is committed to providing superior fire protection for residents and businesses,” said City Administrator Eric Wade. “This top rating reflects the continuing strategic investments we’ve made to reduce the risk of fire losses in our community.”

Lenexa scored 91.46 points out of 105.50 possible points during an ISO audit earlier this year. The rating is based on a comprehensive review of fire department capabilities and efforts (50 percent), the water supply system (40 percent), and emergency communications system (10 percent).

“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure the best value in fire services for Lenexa,” said Fire Chief Dan Rhodus. “We’re grateful to have strong relationships with local agencies and communities that helped us achieve a Class 1 rating.”

Two key fire-protection partners include WaterOne, an independent public utility that delivers Lenexa’s water service, and the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center (JCECC), which handles critical dispatch and tracking services for fire incidents.

“Many people don’t realize how vital a role WaterOne plays in fire safety,” said WaterOne General Manager Mike Armstrong. “Our infrastructure and operations provide reliable access to water at no public cost to taxpayers due to being entirely funded by customer rates. We are pleased to have a hand in Lenexa’s accomplishment.”

The 85-member Lenexa Fire Department operates under an interlocal agreement with eight cities and five county agencies. This enables JCECC to efficiently dispatch the closest units to respond to emergencies, regardless of city boundaries.

“We are privileged to serve the Lenexa Fire Department and are proud to have contributed to their success in achieving a Class 1 ISO rating,” said JCECC Deputy Director Ellen Wernicke.

According to ISO data, a community’s investment in firefighting services is a good predictor of future fire losses. Communities with excellent fire protection can expect less property damage and higher survival rates.

“Being the only community in the metro to earn a Class 1 rating will have a positive effect on our commercial property owners,” said Blake Schreck, president and economic development director of the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce. “Lenexa continues to excel at creating an extraordinary place to do business.”

“Lenexa property owners can be confident that, thanks to top-quality fire protection, they’ll have access to the absolute lowest insurance rates for fire-loss insurance,” said Fire Chief Rhodus.

CONTACTS: Denise Rendina, Lenexa Communications Manager, drendina@lenexa.com, 913.477.7527 Mandy Cawby, WaterOne Communications Manager, mcawby@waterone.org, 913.895.5546

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