RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin today presented Greensboro Fire Department and High Point Fire Department with the Insurance Commissioner's Special Achievement Award for having earned the Insurance Services Office Class 1 public protection rating—the highest possible inspections rating for fire departments.

Each fire department is assigned a rating from 1 to 10 (with Class 1 as the highest level) based on an inspection of its operations, water supply and distribution, emergency communications and efforts to prevent and reduce fire risk. Nationally, only 132 of almost 49,000 communities have reached the Class 1 rating; in North Carolina, there are currently five.

"I commend Greensboro Fire Department and High Point Fire Department for their stellar commitment to protecting lives and property," said Goodwin. "Because of that commitment, residents, business owners and visitors in their communities can count on superior fire service and reduced fire losses."

Public protection ratings are also a factor in fire insurance premiums. Residents and business owners in a community with a high fire department rating often enjoy lower insurance premiums than those in communities with lower ratings.

Greensboro Fire Department first earned its Class 1 in 1991 and has maintained it ever since. High Point Fire Department earned its Class 1 in 2015.

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