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Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey (center) announces Clayton Fire Departments ISO rating of 2. Standing with him is Town of Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod (left) and Deputy Fire Chief Matt Sutphin (right).

The Clayton Fire Department has received its best ISO rating in the Town’s history.

Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced the Clayton Fire Department’s newest ISO rating of 2 on July 6 at a special event held at the fire station.

The fire rating dropped from a 4 to a 2 inside City Limits and from a 5 to a 2 in the Claytex District, the area outside city limits that is served by the Clayton Fire Department.  

An ISO rating, also known as a Public Protection Classification (PPC), is a score from 1 (highest rating) to 10 which indicates how well-protected the community is by the fire department. Clayton is the first department in Johnston County to ever receive an ISO rating of 2.

Lower ratings mean that a department is better prepared to respond to fires within its district. Amongst other things, inspectors look at staffing levels and training, response times, water supply, emergency communications, and risk reduction including fire prevention, education and investigation.

“This is a high honor. There are only 52 Fire Departments out of 1,247 with a Class 2 rating across the state,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. “I know how much it takes to get there, and you didn’t do it alone. This is a team effort.”

Clayton Fire Chief Lee Barbee agreed with Causey that achieving the Class 2 rating was no easy accomplishment, and it took a lot of hard work and dedication to make it happen.

Group photo at Clayton Fire Department with Insurance Commissioner

“This was a team effort. We could not ask for a better team than we have here at the Clayton Fire Department,” said Barbee. “A special thank you goes out to the Clayton Town Council, Town of Clayton Administration, Clayton Water and Sewer Department, Johnston County Emergency Services, Johnston County 9-1-1, Office of the State Fire Marshal, and all of our neighboring fire departments.”

In addition to assuring residents that they are better protected and served by highly trained firefighters, ISO ratings can lower residential or commercial insurance premiums. Insurance companies can use ISO ratings to help set home insurance rates. The more equipped a fire department is to fight fires, the less likely a house is to burn down and therefore is less expensive to insure. Please note that rates are set by insurance providers and can vary by company.

“This rating would not have been possible without all the hard work put in by our team every day,” said Deputy Chief Matt Sutphin. “We are proud of every one of our firefighters for their continued commitment to this community.”

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