Sunbury VFD rated 5/9E by State Fire Marshal

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

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SUNBURY – The Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department has received a 5/9E rating following a recent routine inspection by the office of the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal.

Ratings such as the one earned by the Sunbury VFD play a role in calculating property insurance, often leading to significantly lower homeowners insurance rates in that fire district.

“I’d like to congratulate Fire Chief John Taylor Kittrell for the Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Mike Causey, North Carolina’s Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal. “The citizens in the these fire districts should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

The state inspection is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS). 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 that a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district.

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

The Sunbury VFD’s new rating is effective Oct. 1.