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Types and Staffing of Fire Departments

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Reviewed Date: January 13, 2017

Original Author: 
Wolf, Dennis
Date Created: 
Feb 6, 2003


Subjects:
Fire--Administration
Fire--Personnel
Fire--Volunteer organizations
Fire service--Organization

Types and Staffing of Fire Departments

Summary: 
There are five types of fire departments, which may be staffed in one of three ways.

Knowledgebase-Types and Staffing of Fire Departments

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


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About Our Knowledgebase

MTAS letters and publications were written based upon the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced in the letters and publications may have changed and/or the technical advice provided may not be applicable to your city or circumstances. Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information contained in this database.