Even with shortages, New Bedford's Fire Department is in elite company according to officials.

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced on Monday the Insurance Services Office rated the city as a Class 1 Public Protection community.

Different factors that go into the rating include water availability, dispatch services, and emergency equipment. Officials say the department bought their first new fire truck in 7 years since their last ISO inspection.

Along with new equipment and improved dispatch services, Fire Chief, Michael Gomes credits the efforts of the staff with the improved rating.

"The training division themselves have worked very hard to meet the plan we put together," Gomes said.

Mayor Mitchell says residents and businesses should call their insurance companies with the good news. Mitchell says the rating boost typically reduces insurance rates by about 3%.

Only 132 communities nationally have a Class 1 rating, and only Boston and Cambridge hold the top rating in Massachusetts.

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