By William Thompson: Quay County Sun
Fire chiefs from nine fire departments in Quay County elected a first-ever Quay County Fire Marshal on Tuesday. Donald Adams, fire chief for the Bard-Endee fire district, is the new fire marshal and he said he looks forward to helping county fire departments keep up with paperwork and regulations.
“There are more and more fire regulations every year,” Adams said. “My job is a support position. All the county firefighters are volunteers with full-time jobs. They need someone who can help them with all the paperwork.”
County Manager Terry Turner said the county decided to create the part-time position because of a need for someone to help organize efforts to improve the classification of each department.
“The fire marshal will assist fire chiefs in trying to upgrade the departments’ classifications which would help the departments receive more money,” Turner said. “The fire marshal will also help departments in the preparation of their final budgets.”
Adams, a firefighter since 1980, said one of his main tasks will be to help lower the departments’ insurance ratings.
“Right now the Insurance Service Organization gives our departments a nine rating,” Adams said. “If we could reduce that to an eight or lower then residents would see lower homeowners’ insurance premiums. We will try to get our insurance rating lowered by increasing the capacity of water we can pump and by ensuring adequate training and compliance with regulations.”
Adams said a fire department must have the ability to pump 200 gallons of water per minute for as long as 20 minutes in order to qualify for a lower insurance rating.
“We will try to acquire bigger tankers,” Adams said. “Maybe
we can find someone who can donate tankers.”
Turner said his new fire marshal is dedicated.
“There is no pay for the position,” he said. “We’ll try to get a small salary for him after July 1.”
Turner emphasized that the fire marshal will have no authority over fire chiefs and will not conduct inspections of departments or structures.