Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.


Political Science Department


Dr. Jason D. Rivera

Department Home page

First Reader

Dr. Jason D. Rivera


The City of Niagara Falls, New York has maintained an Insurance Services Office (ISO) PPC grade of 3 out of 10 over the two most recent ISO evaluations, one in 2010 and another in 2016. A significant portion of the ISO rating derives from water supply as it contributes to fire suppression. In Niagara Falls, control of the water infrastructure is controlled by a public benefit corporation, the Niagara Falls Water Board, separate from city government. Through the evaluation of the most current Public Protection Classification (PPC) Reports from the ISO for the City of Niagara Falls, this study aims to highlight deficiencies in the components evaluated in calculating the PPC grade, to understand the underlying issues with the components evaluated, and to develop a strategy to improve those areas to effectively increase the city’s ISO rating. Interviews with 17 key informants from the Niagara Falls Fire Department, Niagara Falls Water Board, Niagara Falls Water Authority and an ISO field representative were transcribed, coded, and analyzed to identify recommendations toward increasing the ISO rating. Issues related to collaboration between the organizations and the process cycle of improving the rating are of main focus. This investigation provides a contribution to the wider field of research regarding collaboration in emergency management, specifically concerning the planning stage of routine emergencies. It also provides insight to fire chiefs nationwide toward increasing ISO ratings and improving interagency collaboration, especially for fire departments with water supply controlled by entities external to municipal government.