Dickson County’s DCEMA/Fire Department

Dickson County residents in the area served by the new fire station on West Iron Hill Road could see a reduction in their homeowner’s insurance after an improved rating by the Insurance Services Office.

The Dickson County Emergency Management Agency requested a survey from ISO after the new station was constructed at 2241 West Iron Hill Road to improve fire and emergency medical service in the southern portion of Dickson County.

“This request was made due to the construction of the new Fire/EMS station on Iron Hill, the creation of the new DCEMA/Fire Department as well as the purchase of new fire apparatus for the station,” DCEMA Director Rob Fisher said.

A letter from Alex Shubert of the National Processing Center reports the ISO survey resulted in the rating for the impacted area improving from 9/10 to 6/6X.

Recent changes to the classification system resulted in the rating for homes within five road miles of the station with access to a fire hydrant in the first number and the same homes without access to a fire hydrant in the second number.

“This is a big achievement for DCEMA/Fire in such a short time,” Fisher said. “Most of all this is a great improvement to the public safety for the citizens and taxpayers and improvement for the community.”

The ISO survey includes information on equipment available such as a pumper/tanker, annual equipment testing and recertifications, the available water supply and hydrant inspections, public education efforts and the 911 and emergency dispatch systems. In addition to DCEMA, the Water Authority of Dickson County and Dickson County 911 Committee provided information for the survey.

Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial said the reduced ISO rating could result in lower insurance premiums for residents in the service area effective Jan. 1, 2020.

“Not only could the county’s investment in the new fire station make the difference in saving lives and property, but it could put more money in the taxpayers’ pockets,” Rial said. “Homeowners in the affected area should contact their insurance providers to make them aware of the new ISO rating. Many insurance companies use the ISO ratings as one of the factors in determining coverage premiums and this significant improvement could reduce their premiums.”

Dickson County is divided into Emergency Service Number (ESN) areas that allow dispatchers to instantly know which law enforcement, medical and fire agencies are to be sent in response to 911 calls. The new DCEMA/Fire Department on West Iron Hill Road serves ESN#164, which is a major section of the southeastern corner of Dickson County, as shown in the ESN Boundary Map.

Roads shown in green in the West Iron Hill Road service area map are within the required five road miles of the new station. Residents who lives on those roads should contact their insurances providers about the new ISO rating.

First Insurance Partners LLC President Kyle Ruf said the lower ISO rating gives homeowners more options in seeking insurance coverage, which could result in savings.

“Not all insurance companies will underwrite homeowners insurance in an area with a 9 or 10 ISO rating, so the new 6/6X rating gives homeowners the opportunity to shop for their coverage,” Ruf said. “This is a huge positive for homeowners because it brings competition into the equation.”

Rial said he is committed to providing the best emergency services for all taxpayers without substantial increases to the county’s debt.

“We identified the southeastern portion of the county as the primary area in need of improved fire, medical and emergency services,” Rial said. “The opportunity to obtain the property on West Iron Hill Road opened the door to building, equipping and staffing a new fire station. This is a major step in making sure all of Dickson County is receiving proper emergency services.”

Fisher said DCEMA continues to work with local professional and volunteer fire departments to improve services, which can result in savings for taxpayers.

“Our current Dickson County Emergency Medical Services station on Cowan Road is classified as a reserve station,” Fisher explained. “Our goal is to get it online and recognized as a primary response station when we get re-graded in 2022. This will help even more with the ISO grade of our coverage area as well as other response agencies that we respond to for automatic/mutual aid for calls in the near future.”

Since taking office in 2010, Rial has worked to improve emergency services by revising the funding formulas for volunteer fire departments, creating the county’s first full-time firefighter position and identifying ways to reduce response times such as the construction of the new fire hall.

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