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(Only 10 Departments in N.C. and 63 Across U.S. Have This Honor)

The Kannapolis Fire Department is pleased to announce that the City has achieved the highest rating a department can achieve for fire insurance. The City has achieved the rating of a 1 – the best possible. The lower rating means that retail, commercial and industrial businesses will have lower fire insurance costs as fire insurance rates are set using this rating system.

This rating is extremely difficult to achieve and only nine other cities in North Carolina have met all the standards to earn this honor. In a surprise visit to the opening ceremony for Fire Station #3, N.C. Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, delivered the news to the City.

“This is a remarkable feat. Only 10 other departments in North Carolina and only 63 across the nation have been able to achieve this distinction and to go from a Class 4 rating to a Class 1 rating is unheard of. The City and all of you should be commended for your hard work to make this happen,” Mike Causey said as he offered his congratulations.

“Thank you to the Mayor, City Council Members, and to City Manager Mike Legg for your ongoing support of the fire department. Without your commitment to improve the infrastructure, personnel and equipment we need for our growing city this would not have been possible,” said Kannapolis Fire Chief Ernie Hiers.

This is a significant achievement for the City of Kannapolis and the Kannapolis Fire Department as the City went from a rating of a 4 to a 1. (The lower the rating the better fire insurance rates will be for the business community). It usually takes several years and most departments go down one rating at a time if they are continuously investing in fire and water systems.

Called the ISO (Insurance Services Office) Rating, the ranking is based on three major components: the fire department, water supply and emergency communications. Extra credit points are given if the City meets community risk reduction benchmarks such as fire prevention, education and investigation efforts.

Cities are specifically rated on the number of engine and ladder companies, fire personnel, and equipment. Evaluation of the water system includes the amount of fire hydrants, water pressure and flow of water.

The City has been working for several years to improve its rating by hiring more firefighters, investing in fire stations, investing in water and fire hydrant infrastructure, fire prevention and education to the public and more.


Division Chiefs Tracy Winecoff, Kirk Beard and Interim Chief Rick Barnhardt


N.C. Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey present Fire Chief Ernie Hiers with the #1 ISO Rating Certificate.