Lower rating to help homeowners

Published 9:06 pm Monday, July 16, 2012

Homeowners in the Clark’s Neck Volunteer Fire Department’s coverage area could see a decrease in their homeowners’ insurance premiums in the near future.

After a routine inspection of the fire department was completed, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, also the state fire marshal, announced the department had received a 7/9E rating. That rating takes effect Sept. 1.

“Our department worked very hard to receive this rating and would like to let our district know a reduction in insurance cost is forthcoming. Clark’s Neck FD has rated districts in both Beaufort and Pitt counties,” wrote Bryan K. Dixon, chief of the department, in an email.

Asked how the department’s firefighters are responding to the new fire rating, Dixon said, “They’re elated. We’re really tickled to get the drop to seven. We were at a 9S prior to our evaluation.”

Dixon said people in the department’s coverage area are receiving the news of the new fire rating with positive responses.

“We actually had on to donate a pig (for a pig pickin’) to show appreciation for the department,” Dixon said.

“I’d like to congratulate Chief Dixon for his department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” Goodwin said in a news release. “The citizens in the Clark’s Neck Fire District should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

The inspection is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System. Such inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, availability of water sources and communications capabilities, in addition to other things.

The NCRRS ranges from one (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state), with most rural fire departments placed in the 9S category. While lower ratings do not always indicated poor fire service, a higher rating suggests that a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district. Higher ratings in fire districts may result in significantly lower homeowners’ insurance rates in those districts.







About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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