Two Johnston County fire departments have received new and improved ratings after recent inspections by the NC Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal Ratings and Inspection.
The Bentonville Fire Department improved their grade from a 7 to a 5. The Meadow Fire Department improved from a 9 to a 5. It was Meadow’s first time at being graded.
The inspections are now required on a regular basis. The routine inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and the available of a water source.
The 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.
The new ratings will go into effect in Bentonville and Meadow on May 1st, 2019
“Both departments are both 100 percent volunteers and have worked extremely hard in preparing for emergencies while providing quality service to their communities and Johnston County,” stated Johnston County Emergency Services Fire Division Chief and Fire Marshal Adam Stanley.
“The citizens of these districts should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency,” stated Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey.
North Carolina law requires inspections of fire departments serving districts of 100,000 people or less, which makes up all but 12 of the state’s fire districts.