SVFC Lowers PPC Rating, Reducing Local Insurance Rates 


The Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (SVFC) is proud to announce  that our community has received a new Public Protection Classification  (PPC) rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). Our community now  has a PPC Class 4 rating in all areas within 5 road miles of our fire station.  Previously, the SVFC service area was rated Class 6 in protected areas (with  hydrants) and Class 9 in unprotected areas (without hydrants). PPC ratings  range from 1 (best protection) to 10 (least protection) and significantly  influence homeowners and business insurance premiums. 

With this improvement, residents are encouraged to contact their insurance  companies to potentially save on premiums. This new rating places SVFC  among the top 17-35% of over 38,000 communities in the United States, a  

remarkable achievement given our water supply and staffing limitations.  Typically, better ratings are reserved for urban areas with hydrant systems  and career fire departments. 

The PPC rating is based on three components: emergency communications  (10%), the fire department (50%), and water supply (40%). Washington  County’s 9-1-1 system provides excellent emergency communications. SVFC  improved its fire department rating by acquiring new apparatus and  equipment, increasing staffing, conducting extensive training, and reducing  response times. A significant factor was the deployment of Department of  Emergency Services staffing to Sharpsburg in 2021, providing three highly  trained responders at the station 24/7, which reduced response times and  losses. It is imperative to increase staffing to improve service delivery and  further reduce costs. 

SVFC has invested heavily in facilities, apparatus, and equipment over the  past decade, using donated and raised funds, competitive grants, and  foundation donations. Currently, we are raising over $1.2 million to replace  our 1998 Engine-Tanker. Like all fire companies, we face the challenge of  rising equipment costs, which have doubled in the last three years. 

Water supply ratings were improved through the testing and maintenance of  Sharpsburg and Keedysville hydrant systems. Due to the historical nature of  our community, water system expansion is limited. However, SVFC has  supplemented the water supply with a 3,000-gallon tanker purchased in 2018, extensive water supply training, and the strategic deployment of “dry  hydrants” at ponds and streams. 

SVFC is always ready to assist in emergencies, but we rely on community  support. You can make a difference by volunteering as a responder,  fundraiser, or administrative member, supporting our events, participating in  our fund-drive, or using your connections to benefit SVFC. These efforts  improve the quality of life in our area and reduce insurance costs. 

Please consider sharing a portion of your insurance savings with the  community as we strive to further enhance public safety. For more  information about the PPC rating or how you can help, email us  at

Thank you for your support. 

Jay Brandenburg 


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