At the end of July 2011, the Walnut Cove Fire Department in Stokes County found itself on probation, the result of a surprise inspection by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. The fire department had failed to meet state requirements of a minimum fire engine and a four firefighter response to 17 alarms during the previous twelve months. The fire department served its’ one year probation and was re-inspected in September 2012. The department emerged from probation with its sights set on proving the naysayers wrong and giving validation to all of the volunteers and supporters of the fire department. During the re-inspection, a rate reduction inspection was scheduled for July of this year.
On July 29, 30, 31, 2013, the fire department was inspected by the NC Department of Insurance for the purpose of lowering the current insurance rating. During this inspection the fire department was evaluated on training, equipment, incident responses, maintenance, hose testing, hydrant testing, pump testing, record keeping and the ability to provide adequate water flow throughout the fire district. The Town of Walnut Cove public works along with the Stokes County Water Authority were evaluated on their water systems, hydrant flows, the amount of available water, and system maintenance. Stokes County Communications was evaluated on the communications system, the number of phone lines, the number of dispatchers and the backup systems. The inspection culminated with a large water moving exercise and fire scene setup exercise with their surrounding fire departments.
Walnut Cove Fire Department is proud to announce that it has “risen from the ashes” and successfully lowered its insurance rating from an “8” inside the town limits of Walnut Cove to a “5” and from a “9” to a “6” for the five mile area of the Southeastern Fire District. The six mile area will remain a “9E” as that is the only available rate. The effective date of the change is 01/01/2014. Citizens are encouraged to contact their insurance provider to discuss the new ratings. The lower insurance rate could mean significant savings depending on the provider and the amount insured.
These results were the accomplishment of years of work by multiple agencies and individuals. First and foremost, Walnut Cove Fire Department & Rescue Squad Inc., would like to say thank you to all the volunteers and staff of Walnut Cove Fire and Rescue. Without the hard work and dedication of these individuals, none of this would have been possible. Thank you to all of their families for the sacrifices made in support of them. Thank you to the Board of Directors of Walnut Cove Fire Department & Rescue Squad Inc. for the support and willingness to see this project through its course. Thank you to the Ladies Auxiliary for the refreshments and food during many of the long training evolutions.
The following agencies helped us in our success and for that we say thank you: Salem Chapel Fire Department, South Stokes Fire Department, Stokes-Rockingham Fire Department, Danbury Fire Department, Rural Hall Fire Department, Belews Creek Fire Department, Mineral Springs Fire Department and Walkertown Fire Department. Thank you to Kevin Webb and the Town of Walnut Cove Public Works, Stokes County Water Authority, RJR Tobacco, and every property owner that provided water points throughout the district. Thank you to Walnut Cove Fire Marshall Anthony Stewart, Stokes County Fire Marshall’s Office especially Donna Craig, Stokes County Communications, Stokes County Mapping Department, Stokes County Administration and Town of Walnut Cove Administration. Thank you to our citizens that supported the department and volunteers in this process.