Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Thursday, July 30, Mayor Toby Barker and the Hattiesburg Fire Department announced its upgraded fire rating, from a Class 4 to a Class 3.
On February 3, 1998, the City of Hattiesburg and Hattiesburg Fire Department received a Class 4 fire rating from the Mississippi State Ratings Bureau. This rating has been maintained for 22 years, which has spanned three mayors and five fire chiefs. In the state of Mississippi, there are 21 other municipalities, districts and state/federal areas that hold a Class 4 rating.
This month, the City received word after two years of hard work that it had achieved its Class 3 rating, which results in potential savings for businesses and homeowners in regards to insurance rates. A Class 3 fire rating is shared by only eight fire departments in Mississippi.
“I want to thank our fire department leadership – Chief Sherrocko Stewart for issuing the challenge to the department and Asst. Chief Danny Wade for his expeditious and diligent work – as well as all of our firefighters who played a vital role in making this happen,” said Barker. “I also want to thank our citizens for supporting this vision. We implemented a 3-mill increase in the Fall of 2017 for two capital projects – a new police station and a new fire station. Both of these projects are well underway for construction and today’s rating announcement is a result of prioritizing public safety.”
Commercially, a Class 3 rating could potentially impact businesses by way of a property and casual insurance rate reductions. For example:
- A restaurant, bar or retail space could see a 10-20% reduction.
- A church could see a 2-14% reduction.
- An office building could see a 3-6% reduction.
The Class 3 rating took effect on July 14 and notices were sent out to insurance companies on July 20. For information about how the new rating will have an effect on rates, business owners and homeowners should reach out to their insurance agents.
“This work was not done by a single person. It was a team effort within the Fire Department and across departments – from Administration to the Water Department,” said Fire Chief Sherrocko Stewart. “It’s our goal to make Hattiesburg a premier city in the Gulf South, and this is one more step toward that goal. We will continue to challenge ourselves for continuous improvement so that we can continue to provide this city with the best fire protection and EMS response.”