Rimer Fire Department receives upgraded ISO ranking

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Residents of a local fire department’s district have much to be happy about as the department’s Insurance Service Office fire rating recently improved.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced last week that the Rimer Volunteer Fire Department completed a routine inspection and will receive the improved score of 5/9E on July 1.

The inspection, conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal, is required regularly as part of the N.C. Response Rating System.

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.

An improved rating can impact fire insurance premiums for residents within a fire district.

The N.C. Response Rating System 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 suggests that a department is better equipped to respond to fires in its district. Higher ratings can also significantly lower homeowners’ insurance rates in that fire district.

“I’d like to congratulate Chief Ennis for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” Causey said in a news release. “The citizens in the town of these districts should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

State law requires Office of State Fire Marshal officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or less, which make up all but 12 of the state’s fire districts.