Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Class 1 rating could lower insurance premiums in city

The Hendersonville Fire Department has earned an ISO Class 1 Fire Protection Rating from the North Carolina Department of Insurance, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced during a visit to the city Thursday.

This designation places the fire department in the top 2 perecent of fire departments in North Carolina and in the top 1 percent nationwide and could mean lower insurance premiums for homeowners and businesses.

“Out of more than 1,200 fire departments across our 100 counties, the Hendersonville Fire Department is now one of only 28 fire departments in North Carolina that have achieved this,” said NC Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey. “I just can’t say enough good things about the Hendersonville Fire Department.”

“This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and professional service provided by the men and women of the Hendersonville Fire Department as well as the vision and support provided by our City Council,” Fire Chief D. James Miller said. “A Class 1 rating not only means the potential for improved insurance premiums for Hendersonville residents and businesses, but it means they can count on superior fire protection from our department.”

The Insurance Services Office provides advisory services to insurance companies for underwriting risk and establishing insurance rates in communities. Through the Public Protection Classification  program, the ISO rates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. The ratings range from 1 (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a fire department by the state) based on the fire suppression force, the water delivery system and 911 communications. HFD was previously a Class 3 department.

Some of the department's upgrades leading to the new rating include the hiring of 12 personnel through a SAFER grant; the design of a new 20,000-square-foot fire station headquarters; the purchase of the new Engine 9-3; the addition of a battalion chief, operational deputy chief and life safety position; receiving the OSHA Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program; creating a new five-year strategic plan, adding a training division and captain; replacing existing engine and tower apparatus budgeted for 2023; adding an embedded mental health clinician, and participating in the OSFM smoke detector canvas each year.

“Our department would not be able to have reached this milestone without the continued support of our City Council,” Miller said. “Their commitment to constructing a new Fire Station 1 and funding additional personnel and equipment has made our department a leader in the industry.” Chief Miller also highlighted the outstanding water system developed and maintained by Hendersonville Water & Sewer as a key piece of the Class 1 rating. He thanked HFD’s automatic aid departments for their partnership and the 911 communications provided by the Henderson County 911 Center, which also contributes to the department’s ability to provide exceptional fire suppression service. The new ratings will become effective for insurance policies on July 1.