Two volunteer agencies better their rating

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nicholson Volunteer Fire Department moves up in rating.

Nicholson Volunteer Fire Department is pleased to make their community safer.

On May 10, the Mississippi State Rating Bureau advanced the rating class of two volunteer fire departments in Pearl River County, Derby and Nicholson.

The rating system is on a 1-10 scale; ten meaning it is not a recognized fire department and one representing the best rating, said Danny Manley, Pearl River County Fire Services coordinator

“The ratings go off of response times to emergencies, the amount of people responding, truck and department maintenance, and everything else to make sure their community is safe,” said Manley.

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Nicholson Volunteer Fire Department’s rating changed from an eight to a seven, according to a Mississippi State Rating Bureau press release.

“It is quite an accomplishment for any department to go up in the ratings, especially volunteer fire departments. It took a lot of work from a lot of people to accomplish this and we are all excited,” said Nicolson Fire Chief Bobby Robbins.

This change will mean residents in the district will see a reduction in their fire insurance premium, Manley said.

“A rank nine means people get a 20 percent discount on their fire insurance and an eight means you get a 40 percent discount. After that it gets more complicated,” said Manley.

“There is a lot you need to do to go up the ratings. It depends on the equipment, your water source, manpower, training, maintenance on equipment and many other factors. We are just blessed to be doing all the right things and have such dedicated volunteers,” said Robbins.

For comparison, the Picayune Fire Department has a rating of five.

Robbins said that the Nicholson Fire Department places attention on training and manpower, because when it comes down to getting the job done, those two things are the most important and could help save lives.

“It’s like a big family in the department. We all have the goal of getting better and making our community safer. When we get a better rating like this, it really makes all of us proud. Now we set our goal to conquer the sixth class rating,” said Robbins.

The Nicholson Fire Department just built a second station on Jackson Landing Road, constructed in memory of Huey Stockstill, Sr. The station will be having its grand opening soon.

The Derby Fire Protection Grading District changed from ninth class to eighth.