Granville County volunteer fire departments have been working for the past several months to complete requirements for lower insurance rates for local residents and businesses. At the Oct. 5 meeting of the Granville County Board of Commissioners, Emergency Services Director Jason Reavis provided details of the training, equipment, maintenance, staffing levels, water supply, inspections and communications that were evaluated during recent inspections by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).
Ratings were released by N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey during a Sept. 23 presentation at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center.
The Insurance Services Office rates fire departments on a scale from 1 to 10 to determine how well-protected a community is by the district’s fire department, with 1 being the highest score. These ratings, which stay in effect for a five-year period, are provided to homeowners insurance companies to determine insurance premiums in fire districts across the state. The assessment takes into consideration the readiness of the fire department itself, available water sources for water protection, and communication capabilities. Since communities with well-prepared and well-equipped fire departments are at less risk of extensive property damage, low ISO scores can result in lower insurance rates for homes and businesses.
“These new ratings may result in thousands of dollars in savings on Granville County insurance premiums to Granville County homeowners and businesses,” Causey said during his presentation.
Granville County’s volunteer firefighters have been preparing for the recent ISO assessments for over a year, culminating in drills that took place over the summer. In June, volunteer fire departments in Antioch, Berea, Brassfield, Bullock, Corinth, Cornwall, Providence, Stem and Stovall, as well as Granville Rural Fire Department, began training with a timed tanker shuttle, using both a static water source (pond) and a pressurized water source (fire hydrant). Approximately 29 tankers and fire trucks from across the county and from neighboring vicinities participated, with inspectors from the North Carolina Fire Marshal’s Office conducting the drills. Inspections followed at each fire department, with scene set-ups and all paperwork completed in mid-July.
“Most of our fire departments are staffed by volunteers,” said Granville County Fire Marshal Ken Reeves. “These dedicated firefighters have worked day and night – between their full time jobs and their volunteer service – in an attempt to get insurance scores lowered in their communities. The result of their hard work is something we all should be proud of.”
Finals scores for each participating department are as follows:
Antioch: 6 (previous score of 9)
Berea: 6 (previous score of 9)
Brassfield: 6 (previous score of 9)
Bullock: 5 (previous score of 9)
Corinth: 5 (previous score of 9)
Cornwall: 6 (previous score of 9)
Granville Rural: 5 (previous score of 9)
Providence: 4 (previous score of 9)
Stem: 5 (previous score of 4 in town limits, 9 outside)
Stovall: 5 (previous score of 9)
There are 14 fire departments in Granville County, with 10 being part of the recent ISO assessments. The Creedmoor Fire Department (also volunteer-based), as well as the City of Oxford and the Town of Butner (paid municipal departments) were not included in these inspections, but are set to be evaluated soon. The Virgilina Fire Department is rated by the State of Virginia.
During his presentation to the County Board of Commissioners, Reavis also expressed appreciation to 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Director Trent Brummitt, Byron Currin of Soil and Water Conservation, the County’s Addressing Coordinator Sandy Woody, and Fire Marshal Ken Reeves for their work during the ISO inspections.
For more information about fire departments/districts in Granville County, contact Fire Marshal Reeves by phone at 919-603-1310 or by email at email@example.com.