Fire News

RCFR Will Implement Fire Permitting Beginning January 1, 2022

Rutherford County, TN—(December 30, 2021) Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) will begin issuing fire permits on January 1, 2022.

The permits will allow applicants to maintain, store, or handle materials, conduct processes that produce conditions hazardous to life or property, install equipment utilized in connection with such activities, or install or modify any fire protection systems or equipment or any other construction, equipment installation or modification in accordance with the provisions of Rutherford County’s fire code (2018 International Fire Code).

“The implementation of fire permitting greatly assists the Fire Marshal’s Office in its mission to increase and enhance the life safety of businesses, patrons, and visitors of Rutherford County businesses by ensuring that the necessary plans are submitted for review and the needed fire code inspections are performed,” explained Fire Marshal Joshua Sanders. “It also allows the Fire Marshal’s Office to obtain specific data on the types fire protection equipment, fire alarm systems, and hazardous operations that are being conducted throughout the County thereby ensuring the safest environment possible.”

Sanders notes that the permits issued by RCFR apply to the unincorporated areas of Rutherford County only. “Cities and Towns may have their own permitting practices, so it is important to check with them for their requirements,” he added.

Required fire permits in Rutherford County by category :


  • Fire Sprinkler Systems
  • Automatic Fire Extinguishing Systems (Hood suppression, clean agent, etc.)
  • Emergency Responder Radio Coverage Systems
  • Fire Alarm and Detection Systems
  • Fire Pumps and Related Equipment
  • Flammable & Combustible Liquid- Tank Installation/Modification/Removal
  • Gates and Barricades across Fire Apparatus Access Roads


  • Commercial Open Burning
  • Explosives- Use/Storage/Manufacture
  • Fire Watch Activities
  • Storage of Flammable & Combustible Liquids (includes above-ground tanks)
  • Hazardous Materials Storage
  • High Piled Storage
  • Liquid- or Gas-fueled Vehicles or Equipment in Assemble Buildings
  • Use/Storage/Dispensing of LP-Gas
  • Mobile Food Preparation Vehicles (Food Trucks)
  • Mobile Fuel-Dispensing Facilities
  • Outdoor Assembly Events (over 1000 attendees)
  • Private Fire Hydrants
  • Temporary Membrane Structures and Tents
  • Vehicle Repair Garages

Adoption of this permitting system was approved by the County’s Public Safety Committee in October 2021, was presented to the Steering and Budget Committees in November, and was ultimately approved by the full County Commission at the November 2021 meeting.

Permits will be available online through the County’s Cityworks portal in the very near future.  A schedule of fees for the various types of permits will also be available on the portal.

For more information, please contact RCFR Fire Marshal’s Office at 615-907-3600 Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


In July 2010, five volunteer fire departments and two rescue squads in Rutherford County were combined together to form  Rutherford County Fire Rescue. The department is headed by Fire Chief Larry Farley in a full time paid position. Currently, there are 50 paid personnel and 20 volunteers. Station 51 on Barfield Rd, Station 52 on East Jefferson Pike and Station 60 Special Operations on Fortress Blvd. are fully staffed fire stations. Since its inception, the department has been making great strides in improving services to citizens of the county by increasing training requirements and staffing availability.  

The county is also blessed with the resources of five other Volunteer Fire Departments. These departments consist of volunteers who expend countless hours of training and response time outside of their normal lives. They selflessly risk their own personal safety on each and every run they make.  Just like our full time staff, these volunteers are dedicated to protecting life and property for the citizens of Rutherford County. These Volunteer Fire Departments receive limited funding from outside sources and depend largely on contributions/donations from the people they serve.