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Fire Department Recognition Bill

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Reviewed Date: July 12, 2021

Original Author: 
Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association
Date of Material: 
Feb 26, 2003

Fire--Performance measurement

Fire Department Recognition Bill

This information from a TFCA flyer answers questions about the Fire Department Recognition Bill.

Fire Department Recognition Bill
Senate Bill 887 and House Bill 727
(Strongly endorsed and supported by the TN Fire Chiefs Association)

1. Why do we need this new law?

Answer: At least three reasons: (A) There is nothing in Tennessee law to prevent another fire department from starting up right in the middle of an existing fire departments’ territory, (B) There have been several instances where a “fire department” chartered as a non-profit corporation in Tennessee, raised lots of money, but never provided any fire protection, and (C) Conflicts between fire departments over territory boundaries are very common and there is currently no method to resolve these differences.

2. How will this new law affect an existing fire department?

Answer: An existing fire department will have to fill out the proper forms and send in a registration fee (of up to $50) once every third year.

3. How will this new law affect a group that would want to start up a new fire department somewhere in the State of Tennessee?

Answer: The new fire department would have to: (A) Fill out the proper forms, (B) Pay the registration fee, (C) Have the approval of the City or County in which it will operate, (D) Have a definite geographic area for which it will provide fire protection, and (E) Have the minimum equipment and training as defined in the law.

4. How much will this new law cost an existing fire department?

Answer: $50 every third year.

5. Why does a fire department have to re-certify every three years?

Answer: This is designed to protect legitimate fire departments from those who may stop providing fire protection. In addition, this provides a simple way for the State of Tennessee to maintain a current list of fire departments and their correct addresses and other information for contact purposes.

6. Why were the minimum standards for a new fire department set so low?

Answer: The minimum standards were set at 1,000 GPM of pump capacity at 120 psi and a water tank of 250 gallons. This is the minimum size of pumper that ISO will recognize as a fire department. This law was not intended to put any fire department out of business, only to protect legitimate fire departments and the public from being a victim of fraud.


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