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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -– New Hanover County Fire Rescue’s hard work has paid off with an improved fire rating. The news isn’t just beneficial for the department. It also helps residents in the unincorporated areas of the county.

If you live within the New Hanover County Fire District, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance on July 1 thanks to the improved fire district ratings. Residents say they are excited about the savings. They think it will be good for the area’s growth.

“That will bring a lot of interested movers to the area,” Susan Ludlum said. “It will entice them to come and purchase a home here due to the lower insurance rates, and it’s really great for consumers who already live in the area.”

Most areas in the northern and southern portions of the county got a 4 rating, which means the department is better suited to respond to fires. New Hanover County Fire officials say consolidating departments was essential in making this new rating possible.

“This is one of the fundamental things that we argued up front that we would be able to do to provide an opportunity for folks who own property to save money on their fire insurance,” Fire Chief Donnie Hall said.

Residents say besides the discount on insurance rates, they are comforted to know the departments are working hard to keep the community safe.

“It is a comfort to know that fire people are on their toes and do care about the families that live in this area,” Ludlum said.

The discounts will vary depending on your insurance provider. Residents must ask their insurance company to implement the change after the new rating officially goes into effect July 1.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest33

    That sounds good. But didn’t a house Just Burn Down a couple of weeks ago Within the City area and just down from fire hydrants? The Media and Politicians treat us with so much patronization. Like we forget things so quickly. In addition, just off the top of my head (rough guess) at least 30 dwellings are completely lost and a handful of deaths in just the past two months within the Wilm metropolitan area. Check your records before you speak such ignorance.

  • Brian

    Fires are dynamic situations; there’s only so much a department can and should do. Their first priority is life safety. This includes the safety of any occupants of the burning structure, then the safety of the firefighters themselves. There is no reason to risk the life of a firefighter if there are no lives in danger. If a structure burns to the ground, it can be rebuilt. If a team of firefighters enters a burning building to knock down a fire and something goes wrong, those lives can’t be replaced. Also, the best way to put out a fire is to keep it from starting in the first place. Fire departments spend a lot of time on fire prevention as well – things that you rarely ever hear about.

  • Guest3094

    They are so good because most of them are City of Wilmington Firefighters who work there on their days off.

  • Will Murray

    That was an extremely inaccurate comment, Guest3094. There are very FEW Wilmington firefighters employed by the county part time. Get your facts straight. Oh, by the way, I have been employed by County Fire full time for 13 years.

  • Guest343

    Those of us who are or have been in fire service (without a vendetta against NHCFS) can appreciate the work that goes into getting a better rating. Great job.

  • Brian

    While I’m sure that the department members are on the ball, most of the lower rating comes from water supply availability, not from the department doing a better job. Fire hydrants go a long way towards improving water supply, but it costs a lot to install and maintain a water system. That’s why the northern district has a split rating. The lower the number, the better the rating. The ‘4’ is for the area that has adequate water supply, while the 9E is for the rural areas that don’t.

  • Just a Guest

    It also has to do with drills and proficiency of operations which are tested by the state that also helps lower the ratings. The only reason for the 9E is because of the distance to hydrants, which are installed by CFPUA. These men & women have worked hard to get to where this rating is lower and should be applauded for it. Thank you Chief Hall & New Hanover Fire Dept for being there for me and my family

  • RealFireman22

    Actually the firefighters are just doing what we are paying their taxes to do. They should be working to better mange their fire districts. Places like Charleston, SC are ISO level 1 areas. That’s what every department should strive for. I love how the NHC Fire Services love to make themselves look good. The “Good oldboy” group runs deep alright! Please WFD, hurry up and take over.

  • firemanwhoknowsitall22

    Charleston FD was founded in 1882
    New Hanover Fire was founded around 1997

    Yeah, totally a fair comparison.

  • Brian

    I’m with you on the ‘good ol’ boy’ club and their empire building power trips, but seriously, it takes more than just a well trained and dedicated group of firefighters to bring an ISO rating to a 1. If I recall correctly, anything below 7 only reduces commercial insurance rates and doesn’t affect residential at all. (I may be wrong on that number). You can’t blame a high ISO on the ‘good ol’ boy’ club.

  • Guest246

    Charelston was an ISO class 1. A fire they had back a few years ago brought to light many inefficiencies for Charleston.

    Simply put, a lower rating looks good on paper but without the work of the firefighters, fire hydrants and equipment are useless in putting out fires.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    “The graveyards are full of indispensible men.” – Charles DeGaulle

    We’re all expendable and can all be replaced, Brian.

  • Brian

    So you’d risk 3 lives to save a $250K building? Even the FAA says a life is worth about $2.1M – a planeload of people @ $2.1M each is their threshold for cost effectiveness of implementing safety measures. But I digress.

  • Guest2020

    I do not believe that was the context he meant.

  • GuestCommon Scents

    You can be replaced by a machine. It’s called a paper clip…

  • GuestDoris Rich

    I live in the Wrightsboro Fire District. Recently I had a fire at my home in the middle of the night. I was amazed at the response to my call. Not only did Wrightsboro FD respond but other NHCVFD came to assist if needed. These are dedicated people who work together to make our lives better.I thank God for each one of them.

  • Brian

    NH Fire is the same people that were left over from North Wilmington, Myrtle Grove, Seagate, etc..

  • Giggity Giggity

    We are to take your insight as the gospel?

    I’d rather take my information from someone who hasn’t watched, been fired for and then rehired for watching “snuff” films or who’s best friend is a lieutenant that has threatened suicide by cop because his wife left him.

    That is your tax dollars at work New Hanover County. Great character of your employees.

    I will take my chances elsewhere.

  • Guestcall911

    How you stated “It also helps residents in the unincorporated areas of the county” is not 100% true. Here is latest table I could locate; there may be a newer one. http://www.ncdoi.com/Media/Documents/HORateQuotesByTerritoryProtectionClass.pdf
    As you can see for a residential home owner any ISO rating below a 6 dose not change the premium. However it doses lower the rating for commercial and industrial properties. I think that most the Volunteer Departments in New Hanover County had at least an ISO rating of 6 years before the consolidation. If you wanted a lower homeowner premium looking at the chart, LOL, you need to move east of I95. As most of the home owners make the call to your insurance agents this is most likely what you will hear. Don’t get me wrong the times have changed for the Volunteer Firefighter. With the guide lines set with NFPA standards and the economy not allowing people to give as much time it was getting more difficult for the Volunteer to keep up with service. The career Firefighter was a necessity for the growth in New Hanover County. This rating dose show in the comfort of the homeowner knowing the service is better but not in the pocketbook. Be careful Chief Hall how you state you’re reasoning for the consolidation.

  • Local 51

    I have looked at all the comments that have been made.Most all firefighters in the county are good working people.I do have a couple questions?

    Was the testing for the ISO done before Chief Hall got rid of ALL the volunteer firefighters or after?
    Question number 2.Castle Hayne VFD had all ready lowered their ISO rating before Chief Hall took over the whole county?
    Or is Chief Hall trying to add another feather to his hat for work that he did not do.

  • teachmehowtodougie

    “Was the testing for the ISO done before Chief Hall got rid of ALL the volunteer firefighters or after?”


    Although, many of the individual station volunteers still volunteer for NHC. The assumption that they all have been “got rid of” is false. So, they do play a role in the new iso rating since they are part of the department.

    I don’t know the answer to the Castle Hayne question?


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