The Franklinville Fire Department sits in the middle of Franklinville, N.C. It is nestled in between Ramseur and Cedar Falls. What most people don’t know is that these men and women not only are trained to save lives and property, but just being there can save the homeowner anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars a year in fire insurance cost.
Kyle Dixon, the Fire Chief is proud of his volunteers and part time staff. He talks about their training and how they work at staying trained to answer the call when it comes in.
Chief Dixon says that his department has its own mission statement that the firefighters go by.
According to 9-1-1 services, the fire department answered a little over 1,000 calls from January 1 to December 31, 2012. You can click here to look at all of the types of calls that they answered. They do not just answer fire and vehicle accident calls.
The organizational chart of the fire department shows that it has in addition to the Fire Chief, three Assistant Chiefs, nine Captains, and 36 firefighters. The Chief is in charge of operations. The following Assistant Chiefs are in charge of the areas listed. Larry Hicks – pagers and safety officer; Renay Welborn – trucks and equipment; and Arnold Allred – trucks and hydrants. Each of the Assistant Chiefs supervises three Captains. Each of the Captains is in charge of additional areas and needs of the fire department.
Each of the firefighters has extensive training that he or she has to go through. In addition to the initial training, they each have to go through in service training each year. You can view the training of each firefighter by clicking here. In March 2012, the Franklinville Fire Department became North Carolina Certified Medium Rescue Dept. in addition to its fire certification. If you would like to watch a 15-minute training video, click here. The video is simulating a firefighter going through different obstacles that they may find in a burning structure. The firefighter must make his way through the obstacles before he runs out of oxygen in order to pass this training. When the firefighter is going through the tunnel there are wires going through as well to produce additional obstacle. The firefighter is unable to maneuver through the tunnel with his air pack on. This training is part of the Firefighter Safety and Survival Drill/Course.
The fire district covers a little over 62 square miles in eastern Randolph County. There are currently three fire departments in the district and one is being built now and should be in operation later this spring. According to the Chief fire ratings is what saves or cost you money in the insurance business. If you are within a 5-mile radius of a fire department, you will save lots of money on your property fire insurance. The goal is to be able to have a fire department to be close enough to every ones property to help save them money and to be able to provide you fast assistance when you need it.
According to a March 23, 2012 article in the Insurance Journal “In North Carolina, the fire districts are based on a standard commonly used across the country whereby homes located less than five miles from a responding fire station are considered to be in a rated district. Properties located outside the district pay higher premiums based on the premise that the longer it takes firefighters to respond to a fire the more damaged will be done to the property.”
Apparently because of GPS technology, the insurance companies have better capabilities in pinpointing your location for ratings.
Outfitting a fire department is an expensive proposition. The average cost per firefighter is about $3,000.00. The Chief applies for grants for his department. He said that he applies for two or three grants each year. The grants are what helps keep the department going. He tries to keep 49 to 47 active volunteers within his department. The volunteers do have benefits including retirement. The Chief hires his full time employees from his volunteers. If you would like to join the fire department, you should contact the Cheif. The training is provided free of charge. The fire fighting vehicles can cost anywhere from $400,000 to $800,000, depending on the type of vehicle and the equipment that the vehicle is outfitted with.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to the fire department in cash or equipment. Chief Dixon even says that if you have an older home that you can donate to the fire department for fire training, they can give a tax deduction for the tax value of the home. The home would be invaluable for training and it would allow you an additional deduction on your income taxes.
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