Toisnot rural fire district’s insurance rating improves

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ELM CITY — Residents likely will see lower home insurance rates in November due to improvements through the Toisnot Rural Fire Department.

Fire Chief Linwood Jones said the 23 members of the largely volunteer department have worked hard to keep up with training, maintain equipment and establish mutual aid agreements with nearby departments to improve the rating within Elm City and in the rural area for properties within 1,000 feet of fire hydrants from a Class 6 to a Class 5 insurance rating.

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

When Causey was in Wilson recently, he said that dozens of fire departments across the state hadn’t been inspected in 20 years and he’s hoping to catch up on inspections with the goal of reinspecting departments every five years. Jones said prior to the visit on June 18, the last inspection for Toisnot was in 2006, when firefighters were told inspections were to be on an eight-year cycle.

“You deserve to brag a little about the expertise of your personnel, which saves homeowners money and, most importantly, makes their lives safer,” Causey said in the notification letter to Jones.

Causey said there are 1,351 fire stations across the state’s 100 counties, 75 percent of which are volunteer departments. Jones said Toisnot is always looking for new volunteers to help respond to the nearly 200 calls a year.

“I commend you and your department for your dedication and commitment to making your community a safer place to live,” Causey told the department.