On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, Pitt County Emergency Management (PCEM), along with members of the Black Jack Volunteer Fire Department and Staton House Fire and Rescue Department, were jointly notified by the North Carolina Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), that recently completed evaluations of both departments have resulted in a new, improved Protection Class Rating of 5/9E for their respective fire service districts.
The new rates will take effect on Friday, May 1, 2020, which will result in an advisement from OSFM to change the insurance rates on dwellings (including those insured under Homeowners Policies) within the district, which are established by the North Carolina Rate Bureau.
This new rating has brought congratulations to both departments from the OSFM. Mike Causey, Insurance Commissioner & State Fire Marshal, wrote in a letter to Staton House Chief, Steve Naylor, commending him and the Department for their “dedication and commitment to making your community a safer place to live.” In a similar letter to Black Jack Chief, Corey Handley, Causey went on to congratulate Chief Handley on the “expertise of (the Department’s) personnel, which saves homeowners money and, most importantly, makes their lives safer.”
Those congratulations were echoed by Pitt County Emergency Management, from both the Pitt County Fire Marshal, Jay Morris, and Emergency Management Director, Randy Gentry.
Understanding this rating: The North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS) 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 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.
TO LEARN MORE about each Department specifically, please contact them directly by calling Black Jack Volunteer Fire Department at 252-752-5792, and Staton House Fire and Rescue Department at 252-752-3879.