Newton Fire Dept. earns high rating

NEWTON, N.C. (May 18, 2016) —The Newton Fire Department was recognized recently by the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal for excellent response to fires and emergencies.

The new rating is the result of an inspection conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal. The inspection 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.

“Our firefighters work around the clock to serve the people and businesses that call Newton home,” Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder said. “This recognition from the Office of State Fire Marshal is an honor and shows that our department uses resources effectively when it comes to helping our residents during fires and other emergencies.”

The rating system ranges from one (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state). Newton’s rating this year was three, a one-point improvement over the department’s most recent score. While ratings do not necessarily indicate poor service, a rating closer to one suggests that 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 Yoder for his department's performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Wayne Goodwin, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal. “The citizens in the city of Newton should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

State law requires Office of State Fire Marshal officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or fewer, which includes all but six of North Carolina’s fire districts.