Fire Department Achieves Higher ISO Rating

     The Greeneville Fire Department (GFD) has received an upgraded Class 2 rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), putting Greeneville among the top 4 percent of fire departments across Tennessee.

      After several years of an intense focus on the improvement of fire services, Greeneville’s rating improved from Class 3 to Class 2, which will benefit both GFD and property owners in Greeneville.

     The new rating will take effect on Aug. 1.

     “The Greeneville Fire Department works hard to continually improve our services to the community,” said Chief Alan Shipley. “We are blessed and humbled to receive the Class 2 rating as it reflects the hard work and dedication of all our personnel, including efforts to reduce loss through firefighting and fire prevention.” 

     City Administrator Todd Smith explained, “Our Fire Department set the course several years ago to improve safety services in Greeneville. Upgraded equipment, the addition of a premier training facility, and enhanced training improvements initiated by the Fire Department resulted in ISO’s upgrade to level 2 for the Town. The Fire Department’s commitment to improvement means a safer community and potential rate advantages for Greeneville property owners’ insurance policies.”

     The Insurance Services Office is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators, and others by providing information about risk.  Using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, ISO collects and evaluates a community’s fire suppression capabilities and assigns a “Public Protection Classification” (PPC) number to the community.

     These ratings, a number from 1 to 10, are a valuable indicator of a community’s capacity to mitigate future fire losses. Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria, which is based on nationally accepted standards.

     Greeneville’s Class 2 rating is the second highest rating possible and means Greeneville business owners and homeowners could see a reduction in their insurance premiums. It means businesses looking to locate in Greeneville have an even greater incentive to invest in the community.

     According to ISO, the estimated percentage savings range for a single classification change in the range of Class 1 through Class 4 is between 2 percent and 9 percent, depending on the insurance company.

     According to University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) Fire Consultant Dennis Wolf, only 34 of 852 fire departments in the state have achieved this rating, representing the top 4% of Tennessee fire departments.  Just seven communities in Tennessee have a better ISO Rating.

     “A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predicator of future fire losses,” Wolf said, “and Greeneville is to be commended for this achievement. The fire department’s efforts have resulted in a safer community for both home and businesses owners.”

     Chief Shipley attributed the achievement to a team effort among city officials and community agencies.

     “This wouldn’t be possible without the support and commitment to public safety from Mayor W. T. Daniels, the Aldermen, and City Administrator Todd Smith. I would like to personally thank the men and women of Greene County 911 and the Water Commission for their dedication in making the community safer,” Chief Shipley added.

     The ISO evaluation includes an analysis of all fire department operations, including fire suppression capabilities, community risk reduction and fire prevention efforts, available personnel and equipment, and distribution of emergency response resources to provide optimal protection for the community.  The evaluation also includes analysis of key supporting elements, such as those from the Greene County 911 for dispatch, and the available water supply and the hydrant system provided by the Greeneville Water Commission.

     ISO will publish the improved rating in August 2021, and property owners should contact their insurance agents and ask about possible savings in premiums when their policy renews. 

     For more information, please contact Fire Chief Alan Shipley at 423-638-4243 or ashipley@greenevilletn.gov.