Iris Festival Parade Grand Marshals: Dresden Fire Department, Dresden Police Department, Weakley County Municipal Electric System and Weakley County Sheriff’s Department
Local groups put service above self, especially during natural disasters The Dresden Fire Department and Dresden Police Department provided very timely incident response the night of December 10, 2021, in the aftermath of the tornado. Both departments worked countless hours in search, rescue, response and recovery to the citizens of Dresden.
The Dresden Fire Department serves the citizens and businesses of the City of Dresden and its many visitors by protecting life, property and the environment, from the hazards and dangers of fires, other emergencies as needed and manmade or natural disasters through prevention, education, inspection and a timely incident response.
The Dresden Police Department enhances the quality of life in the City of Dresden by working cooperatively with the public and within the framework of the Constitution of the United States and the State of Tennessee to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, maintain order, reduce crime and fear and provide for a safe environment.
Weakley County Municipal Electric System (WCMES) was formed under the 1935 Public Acts of Tennessee Chapter 32 in 1938. WCMES sets out to provide an adequate supply of dependable electricity for the comfort, convenience, and prosperity of all people in the System’s area, at the lowest practical cost. WCMES promotes growth through Educational and Economic Development Programs, all while participating in the general development of the area served. WCMES was established with 13 employees, serving 2,131 customers in the incorporated limits of Dresden, Gleason, Martin, Sharon, Greenfield, and Bradford. In 1958, the City of South Fulton awarded WCMES a 20-year franchise to distribute power within the city limits. WCMES has continued to increase the amount of transmission and distribution lines along with other facilities to accommodate growth and customer needs for over 83 years. WCMES has grown to 75 employees serving approximately 20,500 customers.
Customers are now served in city limits South Fulton, Martin, Sharon, Greenfield, Bradford, Gleason, Dresden, as well as throughout rural areas of Weakley County and parts of Gibson County.
Throughout the years WCMES’s Electrical Distribution System has been hit hard with storms. Ice, Floods, Wind, and Snow have all caused major power outages sending WCMES Crews into Power Restoration Mode. The December 10, 2021, tornado was the largest storm WCMES has faced.
The series of tornados that came through the West Tennessee area caused approximately 11,000 customers to be without electricity in the WCMES Service Territory. Many WCMES pole lines and facilities were destroyed including part of the WCMES Fiber Optic System. Due to the extent of damage WCMES requested Mutual Aid Assistance from five neighboring Electric Systems: Union City Energy Authority, Carroll County Electric Department, Ripley Power and Light, Paris Board of Public Utilities, and Milan Public Utilities. After 8 days of restoration, power and fiber optics in the WCMES service territory were restored. WCMES continues to work with storm damage customers to restore power to their properties as they are needed.
WCMES is proud to be a part of such a great community that pulls together and works for community needs in trying times like these from the December 2021 tornado.
The members of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department is also a part of the line-up of Grand Marshals for this year’s Iris Festival.