What can we help you find today?

Types and Staffing of Fire Departments

Print This PagePrint This Page Send by EmailSend by Email
Reviewed Date: January 13, 2017

Original Author: 
Wolf, Dennis
Date of Material: 
Feb 6, 2003

Fire--Volunteer organizations
Fire service--Organization

Types and Staffing of Fire Departments

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

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


About Our Knowledgebase

Information written by MTAS staff was based on the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced 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 posted to this website.