Clermont Fire Department recently made history by earning the highest possible insurance rating.

The department received a Class 1 Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) for the first time in just over 20 years. Under 1% of the nation’s public departments hold this distinction.

“This is an incredible milestone for the Choice of Champions,” City Manager Darren Gray said. “We’re proud that our fire department has been recognized at the highest level. We’re also glad that our residents and businesses will benefit from this rating.”

Fire Chief David Ezell shared the news at the July 22 city council workshop at the Clermont City Center and was met with applause by Gray, Mayor Gail Ash and the council.

“We could not be more proud of our hardworking team and external response partners who made this prestigious classification possible,” Ezell said. “It requires an embedded culture of continual improvement within the organization.

Ezell explained that having a Class 1 department (on a scale of 1 to 10) provides the lowest insurance premiums possible for hazard insurance policies. Residents and business owners are encouraged to contact their insurance companies to see if they qualify for a reduction in their fire insurance rates, Ezell said.

“That’s a definite advantage, and that will be an attractor for businesses as they evaluate our community,” Ezell said. “Their buildings are going to be protected and they’re going to see lower insurance rates by coming here.”

Only 186 (0.6%) of the 29,705 public fire departments in the U.S. have a Class 1 rating. Just 94 (0.3%) of those agencies, including Clermont, also are accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), the gold standard among fire departments around the world.

Ezell expressed his appreciation for the collective efforts of all members in the department, as well as effective collaboration with partner agencies.

“Maintaining an ISO Class 1 rating and accredited status from CFAI will ensure we remain focused on industry best practices and being a good partner with the community as we continue to deliver exceptional services,” Ezell said.

For more information about the Clermont Fire Department, visit and follow them on Facebook.

This article can be found online at

A video of Ezell sharing the news with Clermont City Council can be found at

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