Fire Districts

There are two people who you need to get in touch with about your fire district rating…one is your insurance agent and the other is your local fire station.
You can search for your FPC (Fire Protection Class) on the Declaration Page of your homeowner’s insurance policy…good luck….

OR…get in touch with your EMS dept. for the most up-to-date ratings….

Your county’s Emergency Services (Fire) department will know the ratings of their fire districts…here are the county contacts:

New Hanover
230 Government Center Drive, Suite 130
Wilmington, NC 28403
PHONE: 910-798-7420
FAX: 910-798-7052

Website: http://www.nhcfirerescue.org/index.php (you can search for your district on their website)

Brunswick
Building C
3325 Old Ocean Highway
Bolivia, NC  28422

Phone: 910.253.5383
bcema@brunsco.net
Website: http://emergencyservices.brunsco.net/Home/tabid/355/Default.aspx
Pender
605 E. Fremont Street
Burgaw, NC  28425
(910) 259-1210

Eddie King, Director: kinge2@pender-county.com
Charles Newman, Fire Marshal / Assistant Director: newmanc@pender-county.com
Tommy Batson, Deputy Fire Marshal: batsont@pender-county.com

Website: http://www.penderem.com/contact%20information.htm

Columbus
608 North Thompson Street
Whiteville, NC  28472

Jeremy Jernigan, Director: jjernigan@columbusco.org
(910) 640 6610 voice

Kay Worley, Deputy Director: kworley@columbusco.org
(910) 640 6610 voice
Website: http://www.columbusco.org/DotNetNuke_2/Default.aspx?alias=www.columbusco.org/dotnetnuke_2/emergency

Bladen
Department Head—Mitchell Byrd
(910) 862-6760
OEM@bladenco.org

Website: http://www.bladeninfo.org/departments/emergency/index.html

************

I was hoping to give more county-specific information in this story…with more maps to show how much variation in the districts there are…but only New Hanover and Brunswick responded to my calls, questions and interview requests….(so high-five to those guys!)

Once you get your district’s rating from your fire station…find out when they were last  evaluated by the State Dept. of Insurance. Every district is on a 5 year evaluation plan…HOWEVER…districts can make a request to the state to be re-evaluated sooner. If they have recently put in a fire hydrant somewhere or if they have added a truck, etc….its likely that they will make that request…and so it’s likely your district’s rating will change sooner then scheduled.

Here is a list of what the *scheduled* re-evaluation periods are …(According to the NC Dept. of Insurance)…

I have a very nicely organized Exel document of this…it will not post in a blog so bear with me on the format ( I can email you the doc. if you’d like)

Take note:
1.    Ratings under a “6” I’m told will not change your fire protection cost….its when you move from a 9 to a 6 or 10 to a 7 for example that you will feel the impact. However, if you own commercial property…ratings under a “6” DO make a difference on your insurance costs.
2.    Districts are defined as 5 mile ROAD territory around a station (not a perfect circle).
3.    If you have a grade of 6/9S…that means that homeowners within 1000 ft of a hydrant get a class 6, but the ones > 1000ft and STILL within 6 miles from the fire station are a “9S.”
4.    If the grade is a 6/9E then homes within 1000ft of a hydrant are a class “6”…homes that are more than 5 or 6 miles are a “9E.”

Bladen
Department    Re-Inspection     District Served    Rating
Ammon Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.    3/25/2013    Ammon    9E
Bay Tree Lakes V.F.D.    3/25/2013    Bay Tree Lake    9E
Bladenboro Fire Department, Inc.    3/25/2013    Bladenboro, Bladenboro Rural    7, 7/9S
Carvers Creek V.F.D., Inc.    3/25/2013    Carvers Creek    9E
Clarkton Fire Department    3/25/2013    Clarkton, Clarkton Rural    6, 6/9E
Dublin Fire Department    3/25/2013    Dublin    6
East Arcadia Fire Department, Inc.    3/25/2013    East Arcadia    9E
Elizabethtown Fire Department    3/25/2013    Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Rural    5, 6/9E
Hickory Grove V.F.D., Inc.    3/25/2013    Hickory Grove    9E
Kelly V.F.D., Inc    3/25/2013    Kelly    9E
Lisbon V.F.D., Inc.    3/25/2013    Lisbon    9E
Tar Heel Rural V.F.D., Inc.    3/25/2013    Tar Heel    7/9E
Tobermory V.F.D., Inc.    3/25/2013    Tobermory    9E
White Lake Fire Dept.    3/25/2013    White Lake, White Lake Rural    6, 7/9E
White Oak Fire Dept.    3/25/2013    White Oak    9E

Brunswick
Department    Re-Inspection     District Served    Rating
Bald Head Island Fire Dept.    7/21/2011    Bald Head Island    6
Boiling Springs Lake V.R.D.    7/25/2011    Boiling Springs Lake    4/9E
Bolivia V.F.D., Inc.    6/23/2013    Bolivia    7/9E
Calabash Fire Dept., Inc.    3/19/2014    Calabash, Calabash Rural, Carolina Shores    4, 5/9E, 4
Civietown V.F.D., Inc.    10/8/2013    Civie Town    6/9E
Grissettown-Longwood Fire & Rescue, Inc.    7/20/2011    Grissettown Longwood    5/9E
Leland Volunteer Fire/Rescue Dept., Inc.    1/27/2014    Belville, Leland, Leland Rural    6, 6/10, 6/9E
N.W. Volunteer Fire/Rescue Dept., Inc.    7/25/2011    Northwest    9E
Navassa V.F.D.    7/24/2011    Navassa      9/10
Oak Island Fire and Rescue Dept.    7/18/2011    Oak Island    5
Ocean Isle Fire Dept.    12/8/2013    Ocean Isle Beach & Rural    4, 4/9E
Shallotte Fire Dept.    7/20/2011    Shallotte, Shallotte Rural    4, 4/9E
Shallotte Point V.F.D., Inc.    7/20/2011    Shallotte Point    6/9E
Southport Fire Dept.    7/18/2011    Southport, Southport Rural    4, 4/9E
St. James Fire Dept., Inc.    7/27/2011    Saint James, Saint James Rural    5, 5/9E
Sunset Beach Fire Dept.    7/19/2011    Sunset Beach, Sunset Beach Rural    5, 5/9E
Sunset Harbor & Zion Hill V.F.D., Inc.    7/26/2011    Sunset Harbor Zion Hill    5/9E
Supply Volunteer Fire Dept., Inc.    7/26/2006    Supply    9E
Tri-Beach V.F.D., Inc.    8/1/2013    Holden Beach    5
Waccamaw V.F.D. and Rescue Inc.    7/27/2011    Waccamaw    9E
Winnabow V.F.D., Inc.    7/24/2011    Winnabow    9E
Yaupon Beach V.F.D., Inc.    7/18/2006    Cawell Beach, Yaupon Beach Rural    5, 5/9E

Columbus
Department    Re-Inspection     District Served    Rating
Acme-Delco Riegelwood Fire & Rescue    8/30/2010    Acme Delco, Riegelwood    6,4
Bolton Volunteer Fire/Rescue Dept., Inc.    11/8/2010    Bolton    9E
Brunswick V.F.D., Inc.    12/6/2010    Brunswick    7/9E
Buckhead V.F.D., Inc & Rescue Squad    11/8/2010    Buckhead    9E
Cerro-Gordo V.F.D. & Rescue    11/16/2010    Cerro-Gordo    9E
Evergreen V.F.D.    11/15/2010    Evergreen    9E
Fair Bluff Fire Dept. & Rescue Squad    11/15/2010    Coles, Fair Bluff    9E/5
Hallsboro V.F.D., Inc.    11/15/2010    Hallsboro    9E
Klondyke-Chadbourn Volunteer Fire Dept.    5/7/2014    Chadbourn, Klondyke    6, 6/9E
Lake Waccamaw Fire Dept.    11/9/2010    E. Columbus, Lake Waccamaw    6/9E, 6
Nakina Fire & Rescue Squad, Inc.    11/18/2011    Nakina    9E
North Whiteville V.F.D.    11/16/2010    North Whiteville    9E
Old Dock/Cypress Creek V.F.D & Auxiliary    11/9/2010    Old Dock/Cypress  Creek    9E
Roseland V.F.D.    12/6/2010    Roseland    9E
St. James V.F.D., Inc    11/8/2010    St.James    9E
Tabor City Fire Dept.    12/7/2010    Tabor City, Yam City    5,5/9E
White Marsh-Welches Creek Community V.F.D.    11/10/2010    Welches Creek    9E
Whiteville Fire Dept.    11/17/2010    Whiteville    4
Williams Township Commuity Fire Dept.    12/7/2010    Williams Township    9E

New Hanover
Department    Re-Inspection     District Served    Rating
Carolina Beach Fire Dept.    1/29/2013    Carolina Beach    5
Castle Hayne V.F.D., Inc    1/29/2013    Castle Hayne    6/9E
Federal Point Fire-Rescue, Inc.    1/29/2013    Federal Point    5/9S
Kure Beach V.F.D.    10/17/2013    Kure Beach    5
Myrtle Grove V.F.D., Inc.    1/29/2013    Myrtle Grove    5/9S
New Hanover County Fire Dept.    1/29/2013    Highway 421 North    5/9S
Ogden V.F.D., Inc.    1/29/2013    Ogden    5/9E
Wilmington Fire Dept.    1/29/2013    Wilmington    2
Wrightsboro V.F.D., Inc.    1/29/2013    Wrightsboro    6/9E
Wrightsville Beach Fire Dept.    1/29/2013    Wrightsville Beach    4

Pender
Department    Re-Inspection     District Served    Rating
Atkinson Fire Dept.    4/18/2013    Atkinson    9E
Burgaw Fire Dept.    11/17/2013    Burgaw, Pender Central    5/9S, 5/9E
Hampstead V.F.D., Inc.    4/18/2013    Hampstead    7/9E
Long Creek-Grady V.F.D., Inc.    4/19/2013    Long Creek-Grady    9E
Maple Hill V.F.D., Inc.    4/18/2013    Maple Hill    9E
Penderlea Fire Dept.    4/18/2013    Penderlea    9E
Rocky Point V.F.D., Inc.    4/18/2013    Rocky Point    9E
Shiloh-Columbia V.F.D., Inc.    4/18/2013    Shiloh-Columbia    9E
Sloop Point V.F.D., Inc.    4/18/2013    Sloop Point    9E
Surf City Fire Dept.    4/15/2008    Surf City    6
Topsail Beach Fire Dept.    4/18/2013    Topsail Beach    5

According to the Dept. of Insurance…insurance agents are automatically notified through ISO (www.ISO.com) about ratings changes that will affect their client’s policies. Theoretically, when their customers renew…they automatically qualify for the reduced rates. When I first heard that homeowners automatically qualify I though…not much of a story here…

BUT…

After speaking with a handful of local homeowners who had no clue what I was talking about… who are living in areas that had a class change but weren’t notified…it seemed like a good topic to get the word out on.

Then, when a homeowner’s insurance agent told me they were concerned that people would be calling up asking for years worth of rebates…I figured this was DEFINETELY something to discuss…its YOUR money and if the rate was lowered…I do believe you should be compensated for years of overpaying.

The Dept. of Insurance says it more probable that there was simply a disconnect along the communication line. They say if a Fire Chief does not notify them about an early re-evaluation or paper work gets mixed up, etc. etc….there may be a delay in your agent’s response to lowering your rate.

Robert McIver attests to this…and I know he loves being the money-saving messenger…his face nearly lights up when he talks about saving people’s premiums…and how many people does THAT happen to?!

Robert says he used to receive notices from the fire department when their district ratings had changed…but no longer does.

WHOMEVER is responsible…this is something that YOU can stay on top of…its YOUR cash after all.

The Dept. of Ins. told me that if you were not notified of a ratings change when you renewed, you ARE entitled to your money back on those lower premiums. If you are having trouble with your agent/provider….they say you should file a complaint with their department….call 1-800-546-5664.

A little more about the specific ratings….

The best rating you can get…a “1”…those are few and far between. In fact, I believe there is only one of them in NC (not in our area). So the city of Wilmington takes top honors coming in at a “2.” Robert McIver says they should be very proud of that because they are so hard to get.

On the other hand, there are rural areas, like in Brunswick County, that come in at a 9 or a 10. Does this mean that if you live in those areas no one is coming to help you if your house is on fire?

NO.

Scott Garner (B.C. Fire Marshall) says that when a call comes in from those areas…the surrounding districts are alerted and aid goes out from the nearest station. And STAY TUNED Brunswick County because Scott says that there are some significant changes coming in the near future to a handful of your districts.

Getting a top rating is something that’s a continuous goal for ALL of these districts.  Funding plays a big part in how successful they may be…and in this economy…money isn’t at ANYONE’S disposal. Figure that each of those trucks costs $800,000 or so…if that’s the difference in your station moving up in a ratings class…even if a station’s team are world class fire squashers…. without ample coins in the coffer…that truck will have to wait and so may the higher rating.

The fire officials I spoke to said that they are constantly working on the upgrades….and lucky us….its all to our benefit.

A few final words about our fire departments….

I’ve been working on this story for over one month. Previously….I knew very (VERY) little about fire departments except the obvious. I had no idea just how MUCH they do. If there is a car crash, a house fire, a medical emergency…they are always there because they’re first responders. Calls big and small…they are on it.

They go through countless of hours of training every year in order to respond to any type of situation. If they are not AT the fire…they are probably out somewhere training for one…

And they have a very deep sense of pride in what they do and a strong commitment to one another…and that’s very rare to encounter anymore.

So I hope that I’ve somehow made you more aware of where your  insurance $$ goes and how you might be able to save some.
I also hope that you will connect with your local fire station to learn about your rating and any future changes.

And I really hope that you will stop by that station soon…a handshake and a thank you for all the hard work…that really DOES pay off for all of us.

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