Rutherford County Fire Rescue Department

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The Rutherford County Fire Rescue Department is an all-hazards organization serving the fourth largest County in the state of Tennessee.  We are a progressive, citizen-first Department with highly trained personnel.

The mission of the Rutherford County Fire Rescue Department is to provide the highest quality of services to residents and visitors through commitment to training, leadership and professionalism with integrity, teamwork and dedication.

Department History

Prior to 2010, fire protection in Rutherford County outside municipal city limits was provided by 11 all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit fire departments.  These departments were not associated with the County and provided fire protection services under contract with Rutherford County to their respective districts. 

In 2010, the County Government created a County-wide fire department merging several of these volunteer organizations under a new County agency.  Between 2010 and 2014, The Rutherford County Fire Department continued to operate as a volunteer fire department with Fire Chief.  In 2014, the County was awarded a SAFER grant allowing for the hiring of the first 12 full-time Firefighters (4 per shift with 3 shifts).  At that time, the Rutherford County Fire-Rescue Department operated out of one station on Barfield Road.  With the merger of the Walter Hill Volunteer Fire Department, a second full-time station was added in 2016.  In 2019, Rutherford County EMS Special Operations was merged with Rutherford County Fire Rescue adding a third full-time station.

In 2020-2021, The County Commission approved the construction of six new Public Safety Buildings.  The first two of these six buildings are scheduled for completion in late 2022/early 2023 with 30 personnel slated to be hired to staff them.  

The Rutherford County Fire Rescue Department continues to grow to meet the high demand for services in one of the State's fastest growing counties.


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.