CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Bradley County has received an improved protection classification from the Insurance Service Office and said goodbye - with honors - to a long-serving member of the county's fire board.
On Monday, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis announced that the county qualified for an ISO rating of "4/10" after expanding the staff, equipment and stations of Bradley County Fire & Rescue two years ago.
"Any structure or property within five road miles of a recognized fire station in all Bradley County will now be classified as a '4,'" said Davis in a meeting with the Bradley County Commission.
About 85 percent of the county falls within the "4" rating area, Davis said.
The lower the rating the better, according to the ISO 10-point scale, said officials.
A lower rating usually means a lower cost for fire insurance, depending on the insurer, Davis said.
"It's great news," he said. "You probably won't find another county in Tennessee excluding metros that can say 85 percent of their county rates a 'Class 4.'"
The new rating, officially effective on Oct. 1, replaces the county's current 4/7/10 rating, he said.
Most of structures and properties that now rate a "7" will become a "4" instead, Davis said.
In other business, Davis and the Bradley County Commission presented a proclamation to Julian Sullivan in recognition of eight years of service on the Bradley County Fire Board. He served from 2006 to 2014.
Aug. 18 has been established as "Julian Sullivan Day" in Bradley County, according to the proclamation.
The proclamation also recognized Sullivan's father, Sam J. Sullivan Jr., who died while helping storm victims in 1974.
Sullivan served on the board during the period in which Bradley County established three new fire stations to provide service to areas that had been served by the Cleveland Fire Department under a longstanding contract.
"That was a pivotal decision in providing fire delivery to the county," said Sullivan.
Before that, he was part of an exploratory effort to decide whether county and city fire departments would merge as a unified command.
"We're seeing the fruit of five to six years of work with the new ISO ratings," Sullivan said. "It's quite an accomplishment."
The Bradley County Commission voted 12-0 to appoint William "Buster" Stuart to replace Sullivan on the fire board.
Stuart, a certified financial planner with Ameriprise Financial since 1986, also serves as a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.
Commissioner Ed Elkins, who will leave office at the end of the month, was reappointed to the Bradley County Fire Board for a two-year term.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.