Ahoskie Fire Dept. improves rating

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, May 16, 2012

AHOSKIE – The good news is that the Ahoskie Fire Department’s rating has improved.

What’s even more newsworthy is that number may stand a chance at additional improvement.

Wayne Goodwin, who serves as Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal for the State of North Carolina, announced that following a thorough inspection by his office the Ahoskie Fire Department’s rating improved from a 6 to a 5.

Inspections of fire departments across the state are required on a regular basis and are conducted by the North Carolina Rating Response System (NCRRS).

Goodwin said those inspections, among other things, look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source.

“I’d like to congratulate (Ahoskie Fire) Chief (Ken) Dilday for his department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department’s members,” Goodwin said. “The citizens in the town of Ahoskie should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

Dilday was likewise pleased with his department’s new rating.

“I’m tickled over this; we’re been rewarded for all the hard work and effort it has taken to make improvements to the Ahoskie Fire Department,” Dilday stressed.

Despite the new rating, which brings with it a possible reduction in property insurance rates for Ahoskie homeowners and business owners, Dilday said additional improvement to the department’s rating can be realized.

“We’re really not that far from having a 4 rating,” Dilday noted. “That would be awesome if we could get to a 4; that’s a rating not too many fire departments in our part of the state can brag about.”

Dilday said he has already launched the process of seeing exactly what it would take (dollar wise) to purchase the equipment that would allow the Ahoskie Fire Department to reach a 4 rating.

The NCRRS rating system ranges from 1 (the best) to 10 (not recognized by the state as a certified fire department). Goodwin said most rural fire departments fall under the 9S rating.

While lower ratings (a higher number) do not necessarily indicate poor service, a smaller number suggests that a department is overall better equipped to respond to emergency calls within its district. Better ratings also have a significant impact on property insurance premiums.

Ahoskie Fire Department’s 5 rating takes effect on Aug. 1.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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