Wilson Fire/Rescue Services recently learned its inspection rating has improved to the highest level achievable, making the department one of the safest in North Carolina. Mike Causey, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal, made the announcement during the June 21 Wilson City Council meeting.
WF/RS recently completed a routine inspection conducted by the Department of Insurance Office of the Fire Marshal. The inspection evaluates staffing levels, equipment, maintenance of equipment, communication capabilities, and availability of a water source. Upon completion of the inspection, a rating of 1 was given to WF/RS, the highest level available.
“I’d like to congratulation Chief Alston for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Commissioner Causey. “The citizens of Wilson should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”
Commissioner Causey praised the department’s accomplishments during the City Council presentation. He noted that only 12 of the 1,532 fire departments in North Carolina have earned a Class 1 rating.
The North Carolina Response Rating System ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 indicating the safest departments.
“I am extremely proud of our department for this achievement,” said WF/RS Chief Albert Alston. “Wilson is the first department east of the Triangle to earn a Class 1 rating, which is a tremendous accomplishment for fire service in eastern North Carolina. Our department earned the rating through a consistent focus on training, maintaining and preserving our equipment, and the strong contributions of our Water Resources Department. We are grateful to the City Council and the City’s administration for their steadfast support of WF/RS.”
During the presentation, Deputy City Manager Harry Tyson also recognized Water Resources Director Barry Parks for his department’s contribution toward the Class 1 rating. An important component of the inspection is availability of a water source for all areas within the service territory.
The new rating is effective on September 1, 2018. The department’s previous rating was a Class 2.
The most noticeable impact for Wilson residents and businesses involves insurance rates. Homeowners will not likely see a noticeable change in insurance rates, since a Class 2 rating also ensures lower rates based on fire service capabilities. Commercial and industrial customers should see a decrease in insurance costs due to the upgrade.