The Chattanooga Fire Department now has a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office. Firefighters gathered this morning at the Main Street station for the announcement. (Photo: Staff)

The Chattanooga Fire Department has earned the Insurance Services Office’s highest protection rating, which may mean lower insurance premiums for businesses and homeowners.

The ISO rates the ability of fire departments nationwide to respond to and contain structure fires.

Chattanooga joins three other cities in the state with this designation and is the first of Tennessee’s four largest cities to get the Class 1 rating, officials said Thursday.

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The process of getting the ranking took years and started with former Fire Chief Chris Adams, who retired recently.

“We’ve had a team …working on this for a couple of years, and their efforts definitely paid off,” said new Fire Chief Phil Hyman, whom City Council members confirmed Oct. 10.

Mayor Andy Berke and Hyman explained the new ranking at a morning news conference.

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