North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced today that North Lenoir Fire & Rescue completed their routine inspection and significantly improved their rating to a 3/9E.
The inspection, conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS). Among other things, the routine inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source.
North Lenoir Fire & Rescue Chief Brian Wade said, “I am extremely proud of our department for attaining a lower insurance rating. This achievement is the culmination of years of hard work and investment in our equipment, our water system, our training program and our members.”
The NCRRS rating system ranges from one (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state), with most rural departments falling into the 9S category. While lower ratings do not necessarily indicate poor service, a higher rating does suggest that a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district. Higher ratings can also significantly lower homeowners insurance rates in that fire district.
“North Lenoir improved from a previous rating of 5/9E to a 3/9E, providing a significant cost savings for our commercial and industrial properties,” said NLFR Public Information Officer Chris Decker. “We are thankful for our dedicated volunteers and the hard work that goes into providing our citizens with excellent service each and every day.”
“I’d like to congratulate Chief Wade for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Commissioner Causey. “The citizens should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.” State law requires OSFM officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or less, which makes up all but twelve of the state’s fire districts. The new rate will be effective on Sunday, November 1, 2020.