On June 19, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey visited the Fairview Fire Department to offer his personal congratulations to the firefighters, Chief Scott Jones, staff and board members on achieving a Class 3 District fire suppression rating.
Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 1 the highest possible. Of the 1,531 fire departments in North Carolina, only 61 have a Class 3 rating; in Buncombe County only Skyland, Asheville, and now Fairview Fire Departments are rated Class 3.
“I’d like to congratulate Chief Jones for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Commissioner Causey. “The citizens in the Fairview Fire District should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”
The ratings are decided based upon the State Fire Marshal’s required regular inspections. 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.
Class 3 Rating Leads to Lower Insurance Rates
In an earlier letter to Chief Jones, Commissioner Causey commended the department for their dedication and commitment to making “your community a safer place to live.” He also emphasized another important aspect of the higher rating: it can significantly lower homeowners’ property insurance rates in that fire district.
“Citizens may not be aware that the rating of their responding fire department directly impacts their property insurance calculations,” Commissioner Causey said. He reiterated during his visit that homeowners in the FFD responding area should alert their insurance providers to this change.
Fairview Fire Chief Scott Jones emphasized that gaining the higher rating was a team effort: “We could not have accomplished this without the hard work and support of our Command Staff, paid and volunteer staff, Board of Directors, Support Ops Team, our Mutual Aid Departments and most importantly, the Fairview Community. Our staff, in conjunction with our Board of Directors, worked very hard in preparation for this inspection.”
Chief Scott continued, “The Fairview Community has a Fire Department that they can be proud of! The Board of Directors work extremely hard to improve many aspects of the department, as well as continually being good stewards of the department funds. Our paid and volunteer staff work very hard, day in and day out, with inspections, training, maintenance, etc. in order to maintain and improve our ISO Rating, as well as improving our services to this community.”
The Chief added, “I am very honored and proud of everyone who worked very hard for this new and improved ISO Rating. This new ISO rating will reduce Insurance Premiums for many properties in the Fairview Fire District. We want to thank the Fairview Community for your continued support.”
Commissioner Causey stayed to talk a while with the firefighting team, staff and board members, commending them further on their support during the recent fires.
Several board members recalled the base camp’s request not for water but for “socks and towels” and the Fairview community’s quick response to those needs. After sampling one of Ruth & Ranshaw’s wonderful cupcakes and posing for a photo with the FFD family, Causey headed back to Raleigh, leaving a justifiably proud and deserving group of dedicated fire professionals to continue their essential work.