Jasper Highlands


Jasper Highlands is a premier Tenessee community built upon the beautiful Jasper Highlands Plateau high above the Tennessee River near Chattanooga. It wasn’t long after the first homes were being built they learned no local fire department would respond to a fire or other emergency. This meant they had two hundred and fifty homesites sold and no fire safety coverage. This resulted in apprehension from the homeowners about their safety and concern for rising home insurance costs. Solomon Safety heard this news and quickly reached out to the developers of Jasper Highlands to see how they could help.

Solomon Safety was founded by James Wessel who has a heart for and solid reputation for resourcing local fire departments throughout the United States and Canada. A passion to serve a local fire department was the catalyst that led him to the business side of fire protection. It was that same passion that drove him to connect with the developers of Jasper Highlands and a partnership was formed.

"...two hundred fifty homesites sold and no fire safety coverage."

Mr. Wessel and Solomon Safety were able to formulate a plan to equip, train and manage a volunteer department within the confines of the development. This initial endeavor saw the procurement of all the apparatus and gear that was needed to operate a fire department, but, there was no Fire Station. The department was being housed at a large construction warehouse on the property.

Only a few months into the new fully operational fire department Solomon Safety once again came alongside Jasper Highland to formulate and execute a plan to build an ‘in community’ fire station. On November 4, 2017, that station was dedicated.

Today this unique partnership between Jasper Highlands and Solomon Safety has provided peace of mind to the residents along with lower homeowners insurance rates.

A Letter from Chief Lowell Hardin


When we first established the volunteer fire department we operated from the community’s maintenance building that was serving several purposes. It was far from an ideal location for us to park trucks, store gear or provide a place for training.

The developer, department and residents' desire was to have their own fire station within the growing community. However, none of these entities were in a position to fund the construction.

Our VFD certainly did not have the money, the community homeowner’s association did not want to take on debt, and the developer had not budgeted for a stand alone fire station.

The solution that realized a brand new station was all three groups partnering with a private individual to for 100% of the construction as a long term investment. The community HOA agreed to pay a nominal amount per lot annually for the use of the fire station and we, the VFD, pays the utilities and upkeep.

It was a win for everyone.

As a Fire Chief, I got a brand new station at no cost, the HOA got a brand new station without taking on any debt and the investor owns an asset that over time generates a return for him through the nominal amount paid per lot by the HOA.

Personally, I can’t say enough positive things about the process. The investor understands the fire industry and has been a volunteer firefighter for many years. One of his passions is supporting those who serve others.


Lowell Hardin
Jasper Highlands Volunteer Fire Department