Knowledgebase-Types and Staffing of Fire Departments


Information Product

Title:Types and Staffing of Fire Departments
Summary:There are five types of fire departments, which may be staffed in one of three ways.
Original Author:Wolf, Dennis
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:02/06/2003
Last Reviewed on::01/13/2017
Subject:Fire--Administration; Fire--Personnel; Fire--Volunteer organizations; Fire service--Organization
Type:General
Original Document: Types and Staffing of Fire Departments.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: Types and Staffing of Fire Departments.doc

There are five types of fire departments in Tennessee:

1. City
2. County
3. Nonprofit Corporations
4. For-profit Corporations
5. Unincorporated Associations

Volunteer is not a type of fire department; it is the way that a fire department is staffed. Any of the above five types of fire departments is staffed by one of the following three methods:

1. Volunteer / Paid on Call / Reserve / Part-time - All of these terms are used to describe a fire department that does not have any full-time employees, i.e. nobody works 40 or more hours per week for pay.
2. Career - a career fire department is one where all firefighters are full time employees.
3. Combination - this is a fire department that has some volunteers (or one of the equivalent terms) and some career employees.

From the first group of five, you must pick what type of fire department you are. From the second group of three, you must pick how that type of fire department is staffed.


Ray Crouch, Sr.
Fire Department Management Consultant