When Mike Zimmerman became chief of the China Grove Fire Department in fall 2014, he inherited a department with problems.
Lacking records and information needed for an overdue ISO fire score inspection, the department was placed on probation by the state and its rating remained a six.
“We had a year to get some things taken care of,” Zimmerman said. Zimmerman made good use of that year. After a subsequent inspection, the department’s rating improved from a six to a four. The ISO rating scale goes from one to 10, with one being the best. A rating of 10 means the department is not recognized as certified.
On Friday afternoon, Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced that the department’s score has improved again — this time to class two. Causey delivered the good news in person while standing in front of a room full of firefighters and town officials in China Grove’s Town Hall.