Hot Spot: How the Cambridge Fire Department Earned Its Coveted 'Class One' Ranking

Rescue One pulled up to Eliot House last Friday afternoon to find smoke seeping out of a belfry.

Within two minutes, three engines full of water and two ladder trucks packed with prongs and hooks cluttered Winthrop, JFK and Dunster Streets.

Fortunately, it was a false alarm--that night's beef dinner had apparently gotten a bit too hot.


But the fast and large-scale response is telling of Harvard's location in one of the best-protected areas, fire-wise, in the country.

This past summer, with a little bit of fanfare, the Cambridge Fire Department (CFD) was classified as "ISO Class One."

It sounds like just a technical accolade, but the prestigious ranking has real consequences for Cambridge residents.

It means insurance rates for Cambridge businesses and residents will surely decline.

And it means that national experts have declared Cambridge has, on average, the best fire department in Massachusetts.

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