Rocky Mount, N.C.’s Fire Department Earns New Rating

You may have known that Rocky Mount’s Fire Department has been serving the needs of area citizens for more than 100 years, providing tireless dedication to protecting people and property.

But did you know that the city’s fire department is also in the top two-tenths of one percent of all fire departments in the United States?

This is the result of a new rating designated by the state fire marshal who recently inspected the department. This new rating—Class 1—means you can trust that the firefighters are the best of the best. 

More About the Inspections

The inspection, conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State
Fire Marshal (OSFM), regularly examines fire departments. Each one is given a rating as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS). All departments serving districts of 100,000 people or less must be inspected by the OSFM, according to North Carolina law. 

The inspections carefully evaluate fire departments by look at:

  • Proper equipment maintenance
  • Communication capabilities
  • Adequate staffing levels
  • Sufficient equipment
  • Water sources that are readily available

The NCRRS system rates departments from one to 10, where one is the highest. Those with a number 10 designation are not recognized as certified fire departments by the state.

On average, rural fire departments fall into the 9S category.

What Do the Ratings Mean?

Just because a system has been given a lower rating doesn’t mean that it provides poor service. Instead, it suggests that perhaps the department is not as well-equipped to respond to fires as those with higher ratings.

There are several advantages to higher ratings. Did you know they can significantly lower homeowners’ insurance rates in addition to  commercial and industrial insurance?

Rocky Mount Fire Department’s Accomplishments

Formerly a Class 2, the department has now achieved Class 1, which is the highest ranking. Of course, this is but one of the many accolades the fire department has achieved. It has consistently had an International Accreditation status since 2003. 

This makes the Rocky Mount Fire Department a part of a small, elite group of fire departments representing the best that the profession has to offer. 

State Fire Marshal Mike Causey said:

"I'd like to congratulate Chief Mercer for the department's performance and for the hard work of all the department members. The citizens in Rocky Mount should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency."

Corey Mercer, the Rocky Mount fire chief, echoed the sentiments:

 “Since our last inspection, we have focused on continuous improvement in hopes of becoming a Class 1 department. Our continued focus on the city’s mission of advancing community well-being, safety, and quality of life by delivering excellent municipal services has enabled us to attain this goal. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our members, as well as the strong contributions of our Communications Center and Water Resources Department that helped improve our score. I would also like to thank our manager and City Council for their continued support of our department and the resources they provide that enable us to protect lives and property through quality and excellence in service.” 

October Is Fire Prevention Month

Are you doing all you can to prevent fires? We’d like to offer these useful tips to help ensure you’re doing all you can to stay safe:

  • Install smoke detectors / alarms on every level of your house. Don’t forget to put them in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Make sure your family has a fire escape plan--and be sure you practice it! We suggest practicing twice a year.
  • Test smoke alarms every month. 
  • If your smoke alarm isn’t working, change the batteries.
  • Remember, if a fire starts--get out and stay out. Call for help!  When outside, do not go back inside to retrieve items. 

Say Thank You to a Firefighter

Often, we take this service for granted until it is so desperately needed. When you see a firefighter in the community, offer a note of thanks for all that they do for the community.

Want to read more about our fire department? Check out some of the other articles on the Rocky Mount Review:

Rocky Mount Fire Department Earns National Accolades

Rocky Mount Fire Department Trains With NC Helo Aquatic Rescue Team

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