Rating improves for NCSVFD

North Central Scott County Volunteer Fire Department had received a Class 8 Fire Rating, meaning homeowners in the departments coverage area may notice a decrease in insurance premiums.

“We are proud to announce that we have achieved the goal of our department receiving a higher rating from the Mississippi Rating Bureau,” Chief Shawn Chambers said. The department is under direction of Chambers, Assistant Chief Verner Ray Gatewood, Captain Tony Sanders at the Harperville station, Captain Martha Hall at the Hillsboro station, and Captain Tom Czarnecki at the Midway station.

This rating has been a goal “for a very long time,” Chambers said. However, this accomplishment did not come easy as there are many factors in determining a fire departments rating.

Ratings are in a class from one to ten, one being the best possible rating. These ratings are taking into consideration when insurance companies determine rates for insurance premiums. “A few items that the rating bureau looks at closely in no particular order are the inventory of available required equipment, monthly training records, apparatus maintenance records, average available personnel responding to incidents, available water source, and the ability to utilize the water source,” Chambers said. “The available water source, and the ability to transport the water are one of the most important considerations, as water is the main item used to extinguish fires.”

NCSCVFD has three stations located in the Harperville, Hillsboro, and Midway Community. “Some of the services we provide are primarily fire protection and suppression, response to vehicle accidents, and emergency medical calls when personnel are available,” Chambers said.

 The department has approximately 20 men and women volunteers who offer their services to the communities that are served. Their fleet includes: three fire engines that each carry 1,000 gallons of water each with the ability to pump 1,250 gallons of water a minute, and four water tankers with a combine total of approximately 14,000 gallons of water on board, available at all times.

Several water associations serve the communities that NCSCFD serve mainly including the H&H, C&C, and SRG water systems. “Fire Hydrants have become our best available water source, as we now have over 30 available fire hydrants throughout our coverage area,” Chambers said.

H&H water system is about to finish a major upgrade to their system that has given NCSCVFD over 20 fire hydrants additional to those pre-existing on the other water systems. The water association did a great job in placement of these fire hydrants, there are fire hydrants visible by many of their area churches, NorthSide Store, Scott Central Attendance Center, Midway Head Start, many poultry farms, and they are located in many of the heavy populated residential areas.

Due to this recent rating increase several homeowners have already reported savings. “If you live in the coverage area of our department, it may be necessary to contact your insurance agent and mention the change in rating to see if you may benefit as result,” Chambers said. More information about the MS Rating Bureau is available at www.msratingbureau.com.

“I would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of your physical address number being visible at the end of your driveway,” Chambers said. “This will assist us and other emergency agencies in finding your location, or assist us in knowing where we are in relation to distance with the visible numbers.” Many people are not aware of how the address systems works. In most cases the numbers start in the South and increase to the North, or start in the West and increase to the East, unless it is a dead end road then they start at the beginning of the road. Even numbers are usually on the left, and odd numbers on the right as the numbers increase. The third digit from the right indicates tenths of a mile and the forth digit indicates miles. “For example if you lived at ‘6100 Example Rd’ that would make emergency responders aware that you live 6 miles and 1 tenth from the beginning of your road,” Chambers said. “We, so many times find addresses that are not visible and this makes it extremely hard for emergency responders to locate your exact location.”

Coinciding with this, NCSCVFD has very good working relationships with other fire departments that meet at their district lines.  “Its one of our many goals to maintain the relationship as we never know when we may need assistance from each other,” Chambers said.

The department ranges in age, various levels of training, men and women, but they come together to make one team, with one mission, and that is to serve the people of their community with superior service and fire protection.

Chambers is very thankful for the many agencies involved in making these rating possible. Chambers acknowledged, “I want to thank the community for their support, our dispatchers, all law enforcement agencies, ambulance service, the water associations, the men and women of our department, and the many others not mentioned that makes our services and department possible.”