EAST SPENCER, NC (WBTV) - A small fire department in Rowan County is celebrating a big accomplishment, and it's something that will benefit the community as well. An emphasis on training and some updated equipment means homeowners and businesses will pay lower insurance premiums.
The East Spencer Fire Department has been able to go from an ISO, or insurance rating, of a 7 to a 5, and that is considered a significant improvement.
The rating system ranges from 1 to 10. The lower the number, the better the rating.
It means that insurance companies have faith that the East Spencer Fire Department can respond quickly to any call, and that results in lower insurance premiums.
"Lowering the ISO rating basically shows that the fire department is on the up-rise that we're getting better, better to serve the community," said Chief Shawn McBride.
Chief McBride began the effort to lower the rating in 2012.
"Wasn't just me, everybody working together to drop the ISO rating," McBride added, giving a lot of credit to the East Spencer Town Board.
Obtaining a lower rating involves training and equipment standards, testing of hoses and hydrants, and the fact that now there are firefighters at the station nearly 24 hours a day.
That means a quick response in the town of East Spencer, or when assisting neighboring departments.
In the next few weeks the department will take delivery of its first new fire engine in more than 30 years.
"I take a lot of pride, like I said in 2012 the ISO rating was a 7…trying to improve our level of service to the community," McBride added.
The new rating goes into effect in July.