Jefferson County Fire Service
|Jefferson County Fire Service|
|"Dedication, Loyalty, Honor"|
|Facilities & Equipment|
|EMS Level||BLS & ALS|
The Jefferson County Fire Service (abbreviated JCFS and known locally as "County Fire," or, recently "Suburban Fire") is a loose confederation of the 17 independent fire protection districts within Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky. JCFS formed for the purpose of mutual aid, training, and local standardization.
- 1 Organization
- 2 Apparatus
- 3 History
- 4 Associations
- 5 Constituency
- 6 References
- 7 See also
The JCFS is not a distinct fire department per se but an umbrella organization coordinating cooperation between the many disparate fire districts within the county that by their proximity must work together efficiently. JCFS does not have a chief or any type of hierarchy and has no binding executive or legislative authority over its membership. Instead it comprises various committees and associations that specialize in areas that affect the fire service in Jefferson County as a whole.
Most of the Jefferson County fire districts wear the Jefferson County Fire distinctive insignia patch on the right shoulder of their uniforms.
|Apparatus Type||# of Apparatus|
|Command Units & Response Vehicles||76|
|Pumpers, Quads, Squrts, Tankers, Trucks||80|
|Aerials, Ladders, Quints||24|
|Special Rescue/Response, Parade Units||42|
Several combined teams exist to provide specialized service to all of Jefferson County and on request from other area agencies. These teams are composed of members of the various member districts; leadership staff is developed from within the teams. Each member operates under the authority of their parent district but all team participants collectively operate together under a unified command system unique to the team.
- Jefferson County Hazardous Materials Team (HAZMAT)
- Jefferson County Trench Rescue Team
- Jefferson County Water Rescue Team
- Jefferson County High-Angle Rescue Team
- Louisville Metro Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR). A truly "metro" organization, this team includes firefighters from JCFS, Louisville Division of Fire, and Shively Fire & Rescue as well as personnel from other public safety agencies.
Jefferson County Fire Department
Before 1947 Jefferson County Fiscal Court operated the Jefferson County Fire Department. The department operated three engine companies from three stations equally spread across the unincorporated county land.
Fire Taxing Districts
A chapter of Kentucky's codified set of laws, the Kentucky Revised Statutes allows for the incorporation of fire protection taxing districts in otherwise unincorporated areas. As the population of Jefferson County grew after the Second World War small communities began to believe the services of the county fire department were wholly inadequate for their growing needs. These communities secured the votes necessary to establish fire protection districts. The districts levied a tax based on a property owner's total real estate worth and allowed for more money to be available exclusively for fire protection. Eventually 21 separate districts were formed, completely covering all of Jefferson County outside of the Cities of Louisville and Shively. Since it was now unnecessary Jefferson County Fiscal Court disbanded the county fire department completely in 1964.
The 2003 merger of Louisville and Jefferson County governments did little to affect the Jefferson County fire districts. Since the merger other non-official names for JCFS have been coined such as "Louisville Metro Suburban Fire" and the "Suburban Division, Louisville Metro Fire". Since Louisville Metro Government has no direct control over 18 of the 19 fire departments inside its boundaries, to refer to any fire department in the area as "metro" would be misleading and inaccurate. Although held by some[who?] to be pejorative, the term "Suburban Fire" is used exclusively by Metro Government to refer to Jefferson County Fire Service member districts.
The merger legislation permits the continuing existence of all governmental subdivisions of the county including cities and fire protection districts. It does, however, prohibit the incorporation of new ones. Consequently, and as a result of financial woes, several districts have chosen to dissolve and to be absorbed by neighboring districts. Strict mergers of districts are not possible since a new governmental entity would necessarily be created.
Of the original 21 fire protection districts, so far four have chosen to dissolve. Their tax revenue, areas, personnel, and equipment have been absorbed by neighboring districts. Those former districts had names that are still familiar: Edgewood, South Dixie, Black Mudd, and Dixie Suburban.
Dixie Suburban-Lake Dreamland Merger
Dixie Suburban and Lake Dreamland fire departments officially merged in July 2011.
The core of JCFS is made up of several associations representing different aspects of the fire service within Jefferson County.
The Jefferson County Firefighters Association serves to advance the interests of the firefighting members of the various districts in matters that pertain to personnel.
The Jefferson County Fire Chiefs Association meets regularly to direct the other organizations in the completion of their respective missions. The Chiefs are the parent association and provide oversight to the Inspectors, Instructors, Firefighters Associations & Special Operations Teams.
The Jefferson County Fire Instructor's Association helps to pool county-wide resources for training and continuing education. The JCFIA also sponsors and conducts the large annual Jefferson County Fire School.
The Jefferson County Fire Trustees Association promotes inter-agency cooperation between the various boards of trustees of the districts for matters of constitutionality, legal affairs, and general guidance.
Fire Inspector's Association
The Jefferson County Fire Inspector's Association promotes public fire safety education, fire inspectors training and education, and discusses solutions to fire inspections and uniform fire code applications that arise from new technologies.
Member fire districts
Member districts of JCFS include all departments within Louisville-Jefferson County organized under Chapter 75 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes.
|Jefferson County Fire Protection Districts|
|Middletown||Okolona||Pleasure Ridge Park|
The primary purpose of JCFS is to coordinate help and cooperation between the fire districts in fire suppression activities. The member district of JCFS have, through the years, integrated their response plans with one another to the extent that the districts de facto operate as one on the fireground. Newly adopted dispatching protocols disregard traditional district boundaries and direct the response of the closest, most appropriate fire equipment to a call for help. It is not uncommon to see fire apparatus from two or more districts on the scene of a routine fire call. Interoperability between the JCFS districts and Louisville Division of Fire is informal and the two organizations do not participate in the unified chain of command when operating together.
- Jefferson County HAZMAT Team.Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Jefferson County Trench Rescue Team.Retrieved 2012-09-09
- Jefferson County Water Rescue Team.Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- "Louisville Metro Urban Search and Rescue Team". Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Jefferson County Fire History
- The Courier-Journal
- Jefferson County Firefighter's Association.Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Jefferson County Chief's Association.Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Jefferson County Instructor's Association.Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Jefferson County Trustee's Association.Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Jefferson County Inspector's Association.Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Louisville Division of Fire
- Louisville Metro EMS
- Louisville Metro Police Department
- Shively, Kentucky