Wilmington Fire Department retains rating, good news for insurance premiums

Wilmington Fire Department retains rating, good news for insurance premiums

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington Fire Department's rating remained strong, according to a presentation given to city council Tuesday night by Chief Buddy Martinette.

Martinette presented the results of a recent evaluation done by Insurance Services Organization (ISO), which surveys departments on a list of categories to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums. According to Martinette, the department had an ISO visit in September 2014, and received the results of the evaluation in January 2015. Martinette says the WFD maintained its ISO Class 2 rating, which according to city officials will help keep insurance rates lower for homeowners and commercial properties.

Martinette said the ISO rates more than 49,000 departments across the United States, and only 810 received ratings of Class 1 or 2. Out of a possible 105.5 “credits” available in the evaluation, WFD scored 85.38.

Martinette did point out several areas where he believes the department can improve, and earn more credits in future ISO evaluations. To reach Class 1, Martinette said he would need to increase the department's “average daily staffing” from the current level of 48 to 54. That would necessitate hiring 12 new firefighters.

“That doesn't have to be done today,” Martinette told members of city council. “But it would have to be done by 2019.”

Martinette said the Wilmington Fire Department will be re-evaluated every four years because of a change of ISO policies.

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