Jefferson County Fire Service

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Not to be confused with Louisville Division of Fire.
Jefferson County Fire Service
Jefferson County Fire Service (badge).gif
"Dedication, Loyalty, Honor"
Operational area
Country  United States of America
State  Kentucky
County Jefferson County
Agency overview
Established 1947
Employees 418 Career
433 Volunteers
Staffing Combination
EMS level BLS & ALS
Facilities and equipment
Stations 43 Active
Engines 35 Engines + 14 Reserve
3 Squrts + 2 Reserve
1 Snozzle + 0 Reserve
2 Quads + 2 Reserve
Trucks 0 + 1 Reserve
Tillers 3 + 0 Reserve
Platforms 1 + 0 Reserve
Quints 12 Quints + 3 Reserve
1 Telesqurts + 2 Reserve
Ambulances 2 ALS + 1 Reserve
0 BLS + 0 Reserve
Tenders 2 + 0 Reserve
Fireboats 1
Light and air 1

The Jefferson County Fire Service (abbreviated as JCFS and known locally as "County Fire" or "Suburban Fire") is an organization that unifies the 17 independent fire protection districts outside the original Louisville city limits. The JCFS was formed for the purpose of mutual aid, dispatch, training, and local standardization. The Shively Fire Department is the only suburban department that has not joined the JCFS. The Shively Fire Department uses the same dispatch and radio channels as the Louisville Division of Fire.


Jefferson County Fire Department[edit]

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.[1]

Fire Taxing Districts[edit]

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.[1]


City–county merger

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.

Black Mudd-Okolona merger

The Okolona Fire Protection District absorbed the Black Mudd Fire District in 2003. Black Mudd station 1 became Okolona station 3.

South Dixie-Pleasure Ridge Park merger

The South Dixie Fire District merged with Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Protection District in July 2004. South Dixie station 1 became Pleasure Ridge Park station 7, and South Dixie station 2 became Pleasure Ridge Park station 8.

Edgewood-Okolona merger

The Edgewood Fire District merged with Okolona Fire Protection District in 2005. Edgewood station 1 became Okolona station 4. This station was closed and tore down in 2010.

Dixie Suburban-Lake Dreamland merger

Dixie Suburban and Lake Dreamland fire departments officially merged in July 2011.[2] Dixie Suburban station 1 became Lake Dreamland station 3, which currently serves as a storage and training facility.


Member districts of JCFS include all departments within Louisville-Jefferson County organized under Chapter 75 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes.

Although not fire protection districts organized under Chapter 75 of the KRS the City of Shively Fire Department and Louisville Division of Fire often participate with JCFS in training.

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.

Fire departments[edit]

The Jefferson County Fire Service is composed of 17 fire protection districts that collectively protect 333 square miles and 495,000 people, surrounding the original Louisville city limits.[3]

Fire Protection Districts Fire Department Website
Anchorage (Website's been down for a while)
Buechel Website
Camp Taylor Website
Eastwood Website
Fairdale (No known website exists for Fairdale)
Fern Creek Website
Harrods Creek Website
Highview Website
Jeffersontown Website
Lake Dreamland Website
Lyndon Website
McMahan Website
Middletown Website
Okolona Website
Pleasure Ridge Park Website
Saint Matthews Website
Worthington Website

Unit numbering system[edit]

Fire departments in the JCFS use a unified numbering system, that makes dispatching and radio transmissions a lot easier. The numbering system consists of 4 digits, and just by seeing these 4 digits, a firefighter can tell the department, the type of unit, and the number of the unit for any given vehicle. Many other counties surrounding Jefferson County in Kentucky also use this numbering system or a similar one.

The first and second digits of the 4-digit number represent the department. Department numbers include:[4]

  • 11- Highview
  • 12- Harrods Creek
  • 16- Lyndon
  • 18- Worthington
  • 20- Anchorage
  • 22- Pleasure Ridge Park
  • 26- Saint Matthews
  • 33- Jeffersontown
  • 37- Buechel
  • 40- Lake Dreamland
  • 50- Camp Taylor
  • 55- McMahan
  • 64- JCFS Trench Rescue Team
  • 66- JCFS Hazmat Team
  • 68- JCFS Water Rescue Team
  • 71- Fern Creek
  • 77- Eastwood
  • 80- Okolona
  • 90- Fairdale
  • 99- Middletown

Defunct department numbers include 30 (Dixie Suburban), 35 (South Dixie), 44 (Edgewood), and 60 (Black Mudd).

Third digit[edit]

Old numbering system[edit]

The third digit of the 4-digit number represents the type of unit.[4]

  • 0- Chief Officer/Command Units
  • 1- Officers/Misc. Personnel, Fire Marshall, & Chaplain
  • 2- Engine (w/ less than 1250 GPM; not used that much anymore for most units have 1250+ GPM)
  • 3- Engine (w/ greater than 1250 GPM), Articulating Squrts
  • 4- Quads (engine companies with more ground ladders)
  • 5- Quints, Trucks, Towers, Tillers, Telesqurts
  • 6- Tankers
  • 7- Brush Units
  • 8- Rescues, Ambulances, & Hazmats
  • 9- Service, Utility or Special Purpose Vehicle
New numbering system[edit]

The JCFS has recently made official an updated numbering system. It is quite similar to the old numbering system, but with a few changes. Though most of the units that have to change their number have not done so yet, but they will do so soon.

  • 0- Chief Officer/Command Units
  • 1- Officers/Misc. Personnel, Fire Marshall, & Chaplain
  • 2 & 3- Engines, Articulating Squrts
  • 4- Quads (engine companies with more ground ladders)
  • 5- "Wet" Ladder Trucks (ladder trucks with a pump and water tank), Telesqurts
  • 6- "Dry" Ladder Trucks (ladder trucks with no water pump or water tank)
  • 7- Brush Units & Tankers
  • 8- Rescues, Ambulances, & Hazmats
  • 9- Service, Utility or Special Purpose Vehicle

The fourth digit of the 4-digit number represents the unit number. Some departments use the number of the station the truck is usually located at, while others pick and choose a number.

JCFS special teams[edit]

The Jefferson County Fire Service has special service teams[5] that consist of members from various departments across the county. These special teams have their own tones and "department number". The JCFS Special Operations Team uses 2 "department numbers", 1 for their water rescue equipment trailers, and 1 for their collapse and trench rescue equipment trailers. While many departments carry special equipment in their own marked vehicles and trailers, the JCFS owns their own special equipment in JCFS marked vehicles & trailers. Though some trailers go under the "department number" of the department that owns the station it's located at, or have their own call-signs.

JCFS-owned vehicles and trailers[edit]

The JCFS owns 2 specialized vehicles (1 hazmat and 1 utility), along with many trailers carrying specialized equipment for special operations. Unit/Hazmat 6691 is currently located at and responds from Lake Dreamland Fire Protection District station 1, which has a close proximity to a local heavy industrial area known as Rubbertown. Unit 6691 is a 1993 Ford CF-8000/Betten that is ex-Jefferson County EMS.[6] Unit/Utility 6697 is a utility that is located at and responds from Okolona Fire Protection District station 1. Okolona is centrally located along the southern border of Jefferson County. Unit 6697 is a 2001 Ford F-350/1977 E-One, with the chassis and cab being ex-Jefferson County EMS, and the body ex-South Dixie Fire Protection District.[6] Unit 6697's main purpose is to pull trailers with special purpose/operations equipment.

JCFS Hazardous Materials Operations Team[edit]

The JCFS Hazardous Materials Operations Team consists of members from nearly all of the departments that are part of the JCFS.[7]

JCFS Special Operations Team[edit]

The JCFS Special Operations Team[8] consists of the JCFS's Water, Collapse, Trench, Confined Space, and Rope Rescue Operations Teams.

Stations and apparatus[edit]

Stations and Apparatus (Work in Progress)
Firehouse[9] Staffed Engine Staffed Truck Staffed* Rescue/Hazmat Volunteer Engine Volunteer Truck Volunteer Rescue/Hazmat Auxiliary Auxiliary Field Battalion Chief Utility Extra Extra EMS
Highview 1 Engine 1134 Quint 1151 Rescue 1181 Forestry 1171 Utility 1191
Highview 2 Engine 1135 Engine 1182 Forestry 1172
Highview 3 Engine 1133 Squrt 1131 Utility 1196 Parade 1122 Trench 6491
Harrods Creek 1 Engine 1232 Rescue 1288 Utility 1291 (Maintenance) Collapse Trailer
Harrods Creek 2 Engine 1233 Fireboat 1291** Fire Safety
Saint Matthews 2/Harrods Creek 3 Engine 1235 Truck 2669


Saint Matthews 1 Engine 2636 Engine 2631 Quint 2658 Battalion 1205 Utility 2693 2681
Lyndon 1 Quint 1654 Engine 1635 Battalion 1602 Utility 1695 Rehab 1697
Lyndon 2 Engine 1632 Utility 1698
Worthington 1 Quint 1857 Rescue 1881 Battalion 1802 Utility 1891 Utility 1892 Utility 1893
Worthington 2 Engine 1839 Rescue 1882
Worthington 3 Engine 1831 Engine 1838 Tanker 1879
Anchorage 1 Engine 2031 2081, 2082, 2083 (R)


Pleasure Ridge Park 1 Rescue (Rescue Engine) 2281 Engine 2231 Truck 2261 (Tower) Quad 2241 Utility 2219 (Maintenance)
Pleasure Ridge Park 2 Truck 2252 (Quint) Engine 2282 Forestry 2272 Battalion 2209 Utility 2291
Pleasure Ridge Park 3 Engine 2283 Engine 2233 TeleSqurt 2253 Forestry 2273 Utility 2298
Pleasure Ridge Park 4 Engine 2284 Rehab 2299
Pleasure Ridge Park 5 Engine 2285
Pleasure Ridge Park 6 Engine 2286 (Training) Utility 2297
Pleasure Ridge Park 7 Engine 2287, Quad 2247 Quint 2257 Engine 2287 Forestry 2277 Utility 2296 Trench 6492
Pleasure Ridge Park 8 Rescue (Rescue Engine) 2288 Rescue 2280*
Jeffersontown 1 Engine 3334 Truck 3361 (Tiller) Engine 3331 Forestry 3379 Battalion 3304 Utility 3394
Jeffersontown 3 Engine 3338 Hazmat 3389* Truck 3362 Utility 3395 Antique 3320
Buechel 1 Engine 3737 Quint 3752 Utility 3799
Lake Dreamland 1 Quint 4055 Engine 4032 Hazmat 4089 Forestry 4071 Utility 4091 Foam 40 Hazmat 6691
Lake Dreamland 2 Engine 4031 Engine 4033
Lake Dreamland 3 Rescue 4081 Squrt 4037 Hazmat Trailer 4088
Camp Taylor 1 Quint 5051 Engine 5038 Utility 5090 Foam 50
McMahan 1 Quint 5554 Squrt 5532 Quint 5551 Utility 5597 Air Light Power 5591 Hazmat Trailer 6695
Fern Creek 1 Engine 7134 Engine 7131 Quint 7155 Rescue 7181 Forestry 7172 Utility 7194 Utility 7197
Fern Creek 2 Engine 7132 Utility 7191 (Maintenance)
Fern Creek 3 Engine 7133 Utility 7193 Tanker 7173
Fern Creek 4 Engine 7135
Eastwood 1 Quad 7745 Quint 7757 Rescue 7784 Engine 7731
Eastwood 2 Engine 7732
Okolona 1 Quint 8051 Engine 8030 Quint 8053 (TeleSqurt) Forestry 8072 Battalion 8009 Utility 8091 Utility 6697 Collapse Trailer
Okolona 2 Engine 8032 Squrt 8031
Okolona 3 Engine 8033 Hazmat 8084* Engine 8035
Fairdale 1 Engine 9036 Squrt 9033, Engine 9035 Forestry 9098 Car 9009 Utility 9090
Fairdale 2 Quint 9053 Forestry 9073 Polaris UTV 9071 Parade 9021
Middletown 1 Quint 9955 Quint 9951 Forestry 9971 Battalion 9903
Middletown 2 Engine 9935 Engine 9931 Utility 9997 (Maintenance) Parade Unit
Middletown 3 Telesquirt 9953 Engine 9934


*Units with a * in the Staffed Rescue/Hazmat column are Cross-Staffed.

-Units with a * in the Auxiliary category are primarily auxiliary units, but will sometimes/rarely be staffed by volunteers.

-Some volunteer units will be used as reserve trucks if another truck breaks down and they need/opt to use that unit.

**- Fireboat 1291 responds from Limestone Marina, which is located just down the road from Harrods Creek Fire Protection District Station 2.

-Note that not all the utilities have been listed, some departments own quite a few more utility units.



Emergency and most government services in Jefferson County operate on one radio system, locally called Metrosafe. Metrosafe currently uses a Project 25 Phase 1 trunking system.

Radio channels[edit]

The Jefferson County Fire Service currently operates from multiple radio channels.

Radio Channels & Uses
Radio Channel: Uses:
JCF Page Main dispatch, receive only
Fire 5 Primary Operations Channel, receive & transmit
Fire 6 Secondary Operations Channel, receive & transmit
Fire 7 Backup Operations Channel, receive & transmit
Fire 8 Backup Operations Channel, receive & transmit
TAC XX (Replace XX With Each Department Number) Local departmental auxiliary communication channel

Radio call-signs[edit]


Mutual aid[edit]

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.

Notable emergencies[edit]

April 3, 2015 major flooding and 8-Alarm GE Appliance Park fire[edit]

[10][11] GE Appliance Park has completely removed building 6 after the fire, and they currently have no plans to rebuild the building or build a new building on the site.

Other information[edit]

Fairdale Fire Department and the Fairdale High School Fire & EMS Academy[edit]

Fairdale High School offers a Fire & EMS program that introduces students to and prepares them for careers in emergency services. The academy often trains with local fire departments, and is active in the community. They have, for a long time, maintained a fully equipped and operational pumper. The current unit, Brutus II, is a 1990 Pierce Lance pumper with a 1500 GPM pump and a 1000-gallon water tank. This unit was donated by the Fairdale Fire District, where it served as Engine 9032.[12]

Junior Firefighter Programs[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Brief History Of Jefferson County Fire Department (2nd Edition) 1945 to 1951" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Jefferson County". KentuckyFireTrucks. 2015-08-01. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Jefferson County (KY) - The RadioReference Wiki". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  5. ^ "Special Teams". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  6. ^ a b "Jefferson County Fire Service Special Teams - KentuckyFireTrucks". Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  7. ^ "Jefferson County Hazmat Team". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  8. ^ "Jefferson County Special Operations Command". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  9. ^ "FIND YOUR DISTRICT". Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  10. ^ Julia Glum. "GE Appliance Park Fire In Kentucky: Louisville Firefighters Battle Blaze As Debris Falls From Sky [PHOTOS]". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  11. ^ "GE fire was far worse than it should have been". 2015-07-29. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  12. ^ "Fairdale High School Fire Academy - KentuckyFireTrucks". Retrieved 2016-11-20.