Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue is responsible for fire protection within the Blowing Rock City Limits and the Blowing Rock Rural District in Watauga County and the North Caldwell Fire District in Caldwell County. In addition Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue protects hundreds of acres of National Forest and Parks in Watauga and Caldwell Counties. Apparatus and personnel are dispatched accordingly upon the nature and location of the incident as well as in compliance with guidelines provided by the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal. Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue provides and receives mutual and automatic aid from neighboring departments as necessary. Check out the District Map to see our coverage area.
Fire Fighting Equipment
Not all fire trucks are created equal. Firefighting apparatus is selected and purchased based on several factors including:
• The primary function of the apparatus.
• The terrain and conditions that the truck will be operated while providing service.
Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue has four basic types of fire apparatus:
• Engines – whose primary purpose is to pump large amounts of water and carry necessary firefighting equipment and personnel
• Brush Trucks- primary purpose is to extinguish brush and grass fires. These truck must be able to travel off road in wilderness environment. These trucks carry less water and have smaller pumps and carry equipment designed for wildfires.
• Ladder – The primary purpose of a ladder is to rescue victims from upper floors and windows and to provide an elevated device for delivering water. This apparatus also is used for technical rescue incidents where access or anchors are needed.
• Tankers- Tankers haul water for fire suppression efforts.
For more detailed information about our apparatus go to the Stations and Apparatus page.
The National Fire Protection Association provides guidelines for the minimum training standards for firefighters. North Carolina has developed firefighter training and certification standards based on these guidelines. North Carolina has two levels of certifications for firefighters, Level I and Level II. Completion of Level I requires a minimum of 226 hours of training. Certification at Level II requires a minimum of 345 hours of training. This training is completed under the supervision of community colleges throughout the state.
To maintain proficiency and familiarization with equipment Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue conducts a minimum of 9 hours of in-house training per month.
Fire Department Rating
All fire departments in North Carolina are rated. A rating is given by the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal’s Inspection and Ratings Division. The ratings are on a scale from 1 through 9s, with 1 representing the highest level of protection and 9s being the minimum. This rating is based on many factors including equipment, training, staffing, access to a water supply, communications and others. The availability of water for firefighting activities accounts for 40% of the total rating score.
Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue has a 5/9s rating. This split rating is given when a fire department has different levels of protection within their district. Inside the Town Limits of Blowing Rock our department has been given a rating of 5. Most of the district outside of the town limits is rated is 9s. The change in the rating outside the town limits is due solely to the access to a reliable water supply. In areas not protected by a system of fire hydrants, providing a reliable source of water for firefighting operations is very difficult. Properties in Watauga County located more than 6 miles from a fire station are considered a class 10, or not protected. Visit the NC Department of Insurance website for more information on the North Carolina Response Rating System.