North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin have announced that the Benson Fire District completed its routine inspection and received a 4/9E rating. The new rating goes into effect on September 1, 2015. This is an improved score for the Department from its previous 5/9E rating.
The inspection, conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshall (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, and proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source.
The NCRRS rating system ranges from 1 (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.
The Benson Fire Department serves the Town of Benson and the greater Benson area throughout the Banner Insurance District including the Harnett County District. The improved rating could potentially lower property insurance rates in the area, particularly for owners of commercial property.
“I’d like to congratulate Chief Johnson for his department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Commissioner Goodwin. “The citizens of the Benson community should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”