Dresden Receives Improved Fire Protection Rating


DRESDEN (June 30) — The City of Dresden received good news for its property owners on Tuesday with the improved classification of fire suppression, meaning lower insurance premiums for owners of commercial and residential property in and around the city.

Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn announced the City of Dresden received a lower Public Protection Classification from the Insurance Service Office that provides such ratings for the insurance industry nationwide. The lower Public Protection Classification was assigned to Dresden after an inspection of the city’s fire suppression capabilities in January. Washburn said the generally provides lower insurance premium costs for owners of commercial and residential property usually within five miles of the fire station.

Dresden moves from a Class 5 Public Protection Classification to a Class 4 Public Protection Classification effective October 1, 2020, Mayor Washburn stated in making the announcement. The one class classification decrease will typically result in up to a ten percent decrease in property insurance premiums due to the improved fire suppression capability of the fire department being rated.

Property owners with policies renewing after October 1 may see the lower premiums upon their renewal or possibly see their premiums not undergo a schedule periodic increase in rates as a result of the new classification.

Mayor Washburn said the last inspection by the ISO was early in 2014 prior to him becoming mayor.

“I made it a goal during my campaign for mayor in 2014 to address the issues which prevented Dresden from obtaining a lower rating in the Public Protection Classification at that time. Over the past five years, we made water system improvements, fire department alerting improvements, improvements to the training of our firefighters and department leadership; conducted pre-planning for a large percentage of the commercial buildings in our community, and installed smoke detectors at no charge to a significant percentage of the residential homes in Dresden to achieve what was announced by the ISO this week,” the Mayor said.

He continued saying, “I am proud of our fire department and the work that they put in to help achieve this accomplishment to benefit the citizens of Dresden and to give property owners more value for their tax dollars in the form of lower insurance premiums.”

Washburn added that he was proud city aldermen saw the value of achieving this goal and worked with him to see the needed improvements to the fire suppression capabilities for Dresden were funded and carried out. It has been a team effort between the fire department, city aldermen, and myself as Mayor to accomplish this goal of improving our Public Protection Classification. I cannot overstate the pride that I have in what was been accomplished with this corroborative effort.”

Washburn noted the lower ISO classification will make Dresden more attractive to industries and businesses looking at the city for a possible location. “The value of this lower fire suppression classification cannot be underestimated as it relates to our ability to promote economic development in our city,” he stated.

Mayor Washburn said the city continues to improve city services such as fire protection and pointed out that the city board is considering the purchase of a new fire department pumper truck to replace the oldest of the department’s three trucks placed in service around 1982 and which is currently 38 years old. The new fire pumper is on the agenda for consideration at the city board’s July 6 board meeting, which will be broadcast live on the City of Dresden’s Youtube page beginning at 6 p.m.

According to a recent ISO publication, only 113 of 858 rated fire departments in Tennessee have achieved a Class 4 rating. The ISO rates fire departments on a scale of one to 10, with the lower number being considered the better classification for fire suppression capability.