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Volunteering

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Fire Protection

Fire Protection

Fire Protection

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Karns VFD Subscription Payment and Donation Page.


The Karns Fire Department serves an area of 65 square miles in Northwest Knox County. Karns, an ISO Class 4 department (for the entire area), has four fire stations strategically located in the Karns, Ball Camp, Hardin Valley and Solway communities. The Headquarters facility, where the department’s business affairs are managed, is located off Oak Ridge Highway in the Karns community. The department provides fire protection, Advance Life Support (ALS), hazardous materials response, vehicle extrication, an assortment of technical rescue services, and public education for over 40,000 residents.

From the formation of the department in 1978 until 2001, we operated strictly as a "volunteer" fire department. This meant that members of the community volunteered their services and responded to all emergencies as needed. The community households and businesses sent voluntary donations to monetarily support the fire department. In 2001, the first two fulltime staff were hired to keep up with the ever-increasing demand and the department transitioned to what is referred to as a Combination fire department. Since then, the Karns Fire Department has grown to 18 full time fire fighters and one full time assistant chief. While the department still retains some of its volunteers, our call volumes and other responsibilities and decreasing volunteer numbers has caused us to increasingly rely on our paid staff. With this, came additional demands on the amount of money it takes for us to operate.

In 2010, our department had to change our funding means. We implemented a mandatory membership program, in lieu of donations. By doing so, we have been able to achieve many goals that had been set for many years.

As of August 8, 2014, the Karns Fire Department has increased the level of emergency medical care that we provide to our communities. We now have an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Engine Company, located at Station #1, which affords us the ability to perform a higher level of care for life threatening events such as: cardiac emergencies, strokes, respiratory emergencies, diabetic emergencies, and traumatic injuries. Along with a Paramedic staffed on Engine #1, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we have monitoring equipment and medicines that allow us to immediately start definitive care in those life threatening situations. Also, this allows us to transmit crucial cardiac information to the receiving emergency room staff members in order to provide the highest level of continuity in patient care.

In 2010, the department recognized the increasing population, and the associated risks, in the response area and transitioned to a subscription-based funding model. This has increased our ability to keep up with the rapidly growing demand for services, combined with the ever-increasing costs of service delivery.

Karns Fire Department is a 501(c)3 organization that is governed by a board of directors elected from the communities we serve. We are the recognized fire department by Knox County for the communities of Karns, Hardin Valley, Solway, and Ball Camp. We receive no tax revenue to provide our services and depend solely on the support of our community to continue to provide fire and emergency services.

Newly Acquired ISO Rating Acquired for The First Time In Nearly Three Decades

Karns VFD Gains ISO Rating Image

May 30, 2016 (Knoxville, TN)

The Karns Fire Department has received notification from the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) of the completion of a recent analysis of the structural fire suppression delivery system for the communities of Ball Camp, Solway, Hardin Valley, and Karns. The results of this analysis have provided a new Community Classification of 4, lowered from the previous Community Classification of 7. The effective date of the new classification is August 1, 2016.

This lower Community Classification means that overall, property owners in the Karns Fire Department’s response area will see a reduction in their homeowner’s insurance premiums during future renewal periods. The property protection rating of 4 applies to properties that are within 5 miles of a Fire Station.

See Classification Letter Here