State Recognition and Local Approval Required
Tennessee Code Annotated § 68-102-301, et seq., require state recognition before a firefighting organization may operate or raise funds as a fire department. The Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office enforces this law and sets standards and qualifications for becoming and remaining a fire department. Certificates of recognition are valid for three years, after which the fire department must apply for a renewal. T.C.A. § 68-102-306 provides that no new fire department may be created or recognized without the approval of the local governing body. This law must not be confused with the Firefighter minimum training law where some counties were exempted from the requirements; there are no exceptions and/or exemptions to this law. Any person violating the law is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine only under T.C.A. § 68-102-307.
The rules for fire department recognition may be found at https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/rules/0780/0780-02/0780-02-20.20150824.pdf
The application for Fire Department Recognition may be found at https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/commerce/documents/fire_prevention/forms/Initial_FD_Recognition_-_IN-1479.pdf
The application for Fire Department Recognition Renewal may be found at https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/commerce/documents/fire_prevention/forms/FD_Recognition_Renewal_-_IN-1480.pdf