FIRE PROTECTION:Bradshaw Fire Department gets new rating after recent inspection

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GREEN MOUNTAIN – North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced this past week the Bradshaw Volunteer Fire Department completed its routine inspection and improved its rating from a 9E to a 6. The new rating goes into effect April 1.

The inspection, conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal, is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System. Among other things, the routine inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source.

The NCRRS rating system ranges from one (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state), with most rural departments falling into the 9S category. While lower ratings do not necessarily indicate poor service, a higher rating does suggest a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district. Higher ratings can also significantly lower homeowners' insurance rates in that fire district.

“I’d like to congratulate Chief Michael Vess for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” Causey said. “The citizens served by this fore district should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

State law requires OSFM officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or fewer, which makes up all but 12 of the state’s fire districts.