Bradley Countians have the potential of seeing lowered home insurance rates after Oct. 1, when the new ISO (Insurance Service Office) ratings become official.
Mayor D. Gary Davis announced Monday the latest ratings have been received and the county has been awarded a Public Protection Classification of “4/10.”
“This is good news for Bradley County today,” he told the County Commission.
The rating means any structure or property within five road miles of a recognized fire station in all of Bradley County will now be classified as a “4.” Any structure of property over that distance will be classified as a “10.”
For some insurers, a lower ISO rating can mean a lower cost of insurance.
“Basically, approximately 85 percent of the county is covered by the ‘4’ rating,” Davis said.
The ISO evaluates more than 48,000 fire protection areas across the country, considering emergency communications as 10 percent of the score, 40 percent for available water supply and 50 percent from other different aspects of the fire departments.
Davis pointed out the new rating is a distinctive one for the county to have.
“Of the 48,000 areas, only 5,216 have earned a Class 4 status and 1,734 have earned Class 10 status,” Davis said.
He said the previous rating was “4/7/10,” meaning those who were in the middle range have improved to the lower level.
“You probably won’t find another county in the state of Tennessee excluding metros — you won’t find Hamilton County — that can say that they function in the county as a Class 4,” Davis said. “This is something to be really proud of anywhere across the state of Tennessee. I can’t say enough about that.”
Commission Chairman Louie Alford said the achievement was a remarkable one for such a young department.
“I want to compliment Chief [Troy] Maney and the whole department,” Alford said. “We’ve only been in service two years, and to go from a ‘7’ to a ‘4’ in that time frame is an outstanding accomplishment. Some counties have been going 10 or 12 years before they got to that point.”
Davis expressed appreciation to members of the department, Cleveland Water Utility, Bradley County Emergency 911, Ocoee Utility District, East Side Utility District, Calhoun-Charleston Utility District, Savannah Valley Utility District, the ISO and multiple elected officials for helping to achieve the goal.
“On behalf of the entire fire department, we are very pleased with the ISO rating,” Maney said. This shows the hard work of the men and women that proudly wear the patch of BCFR. This achievement would not have been possible without every member, paid or volunteer, performing at optimal level.
The chief also thanked Davis and the County Commission “for believing in the BCFR.”
“The rating truly shows professionalism,” Maney said.
Commissioner Brian Smith announced that because of his schedule, Monday was his last meeting with the Commission.
“As I leave, I want to recognize one of my best friends, Julian Sullivan,” Smith said.
Smith said he asked Sullivan to serve on the Fire Board in 2006, a position he is now vacating.
“He did and he’s been there ever since,” Smith said, adding he wanted to thank the whole family for their service to the community over many years.
Smith presented a resolution naming Monday as “Julian Sullivan Day” in Bradley County which was formally presented to Sullivan by Davis.
“We have a first-class bunch of folks at the fire department and it was a privilege for me to serve,” Sullivan said.
Commissioners approved the appointments of William “Buster” Stuart and retiring Commissioner Ed Elkins to two-year terms on the Fire Board.
Both Commissioner Jeff Morelock and Jeff Yarber thanked Smith for his service on the Commission.
Yarber made a motion to refer Chief Maney’s proposal for further review of an incentive pay plan for the BCFR back to the Fire Board.
“This is an important issue,” Yarber said. “I do want to make sure the dollars [to fund it] are appropriately there, but I don’t want this to be forgotten. I think this is important for us to do.”
He suggested that “however we need to do it, we need to do it for the firefighters.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Troy Spence, emergency management director, won approval for a matching grant that will provide backup cameras for ambulances and fire trucks.
The cost to the departments will total $4,178 and requires no additional funding from the Commission.
Curtis Clive was appointed to the Emergency Planning Committee.
The Finance Committee will meet at noon on Wednesday in the mayor’s office.
The Law Enforcement committee will meet at 2 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Justice Center. The Building and Land committee will meet concurrently at the same time and place.