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Following recent inspections from the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Pitt County Emergency Management is pleased to announce that three fire districts within the County have received improved ratings as a result of their inspections by the OSFM. These inspections are required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS), and rate departments based on sufficiency in equipment, staffing levels, equipment maintenance, communication abilities, and availability of water, among several other criteria.
The rating system within NCRRS ranges from a scale of 1 (highest) to 10 (not recognized by the state as a certified fire department), where most rural fire departments fall into a 9S category. Although lower ratings do not necessarily indicate a lack in quality of service, higher ratings can suggest a department is better equipped to respond to fires, and can significantly lower homeowners insurance rates for their district.
The three Pitt County districts and their new ratings are:
Eastern Pines Fire Department (Chief Gary Arnold) • Rating: 5/9E
Farmville Fire Department (Chief Tommy Brady) • Rating: 4 (Town) 5/9E (Rural)
Pactolus Fire Department (Chief Bill Branch) • Rating: 5/9E
These new ratings have brought congratulations from the North Carolina Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal, as well as Pitt County Emergency Management Director Allen Everette, who said “These new ratings have shown a strong commitment and dedication on behalf of the department’s to help lower the insurance rates for homeowners within their communities.”
North Carolina state law requires inspections by OSFM officials for departments serving districts of 100,000 people or less. This includes all 22 of the fire districts within Pitt County. A full listing of these departments can be found on the Pitt County website at www.pittcountync.gov/FireDepartments.