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Improving fire protection in Scranton

The city of Scranton has a new rating for fire protection, moving the city into a higher safety protection class.

SCRANTON, Pa. — City and county officials gathered inside the Scranton Fire headquarters on Mulberry Street to announce the city's new Public Protection Classification (PPC) program.

An independent analytics company scored Scranton's fire prevention based on the operations of the fire department, the water supply, infrastructure, and 911 communications.

Overall, Scranton scored well enough to move up to a Class 2 program, putting the city in the top one percent of fire protection services in the state.

"This is huge for us," said Scranton Fire Chief John Judge. "We're now in a class of 14 departments across the commonwealth that are either a class 1 or class 2 city."

"It shows also just how well the city of Scranton is taking care of your tax dollars do go to something. We get that knock all the time. Tax dollars go to really a second-to-none fire department here in the city of Scranton," said Mayor Paige Cognetti.

Pennsylvania American Water employees were also in attendance. The company helps service roughly 1,300 hydrants in the city and has been working hard to update water lines to ensure the water needed to fight fires will be there.

"When we are upgrading our infrastructure, we're looking at oversizing or upgrading the size of the pipe to make sure that water capacity is there in the need of a fire hydrant usage to deal with a fire situation," said Mike Doran, president of Pennsylvania American Water.

What does this mean for people and businesses in the city? It could mean putting money back in your pocket.

"They could see, in their fire insurance writer policies, they could definitely translate to some savings for them. That's the end goal is to get there so that we can attract businesses and residents into the city," said Chief Judge.

The chief hopes when they are reevaluated in four years, the department can move up to Class 1.

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