Subscription Program: Information You Should Know

What does membership mean for you?

The Karns Fire Department has adopted a subscription program in order to fund the provision of fire and emergency services. Karns FD receives NO TAX REVENUE to fund our operations. By subscribing to our services, you ensuring that your community has an adequately staffed and funded fire department.

Support YOUR local fire department by subscribing today.

Non-Member Fees

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1. How does my subscription contribute to a safer community?
  2. With the rapidly growing demands for service and the ever-increasing costs associated with service delivery, we strive to be excellent stewards of your money. Your subscription dues allow the fire department to cover all expenses regarding day-to-day operations. Its critical to stress that all funds stay LOCAL. Everything is reinvested back into the community by training staff and equipping the crews with the equipment needed to stay safe and prepared for any emergency.
  3. 2. Isn’t this covered as part of my property tax?
  4. Knox County does not provide fire and emergency services as part of your taxes. All areas of Knox County outside of Knoxville City Limits are protected by fire departments who are funded through the communities they serve, not through the County. Again, Knox County does NOT provide or fund these services.
  5. 3. How much is a subscription for my home or rental property?
  6. Subscription costs depend on the size and type of your property. Please refer to the invoice you receive in January of each year, call our business office, or email us at for a quote of how much your coverage will cost.
  7. 4. What happens if I choose to not subscribe?
  8. The Karns Fire Department will ALWAYS rapidly respond to any fire or emergency and the community member will ALWAYS receive the same professional service. However, those who choose to not subscribe are subject to costs as outlined on our website. In addition, your personal insurance company may elect to classify your property as lacking fire protection, resulting in significantly higher premiums.
  9. 5. Is Karns still going to be a volunteer fire department?
  10. Karns became a Combination Fire Department when we hired the first paid personnel in 2001. We are now operating two manned stations 24 hours, 7 days per week, with 15 paid firefighters plus 3 Captains. Station One is located at 6616 Beaver Ridge Rd and Station Two is located at 2105 N. Campbell Station Rd. We still continue to rely on volunteers to supplement our staff.
  11. 6. If it's a volunteer department, why do we need to join the subscription program?
  12. As previously mentioned, due to the demands for services within the community, Karns Fire Department is increasingly relying on paid personnel. To the extent that we still utilize our volunteer staff - the volunteers’ services are free, the department still must pay for fire trucks, equipment, stations costs, fuel costs, fire hose, and other costs associated with running the Fire Department.
  13. 7. How is the Karns Fire Department governed and managed?
  14. A Board of Directors, made up of elected community members, governs the fire department. The Corporate President and Fire Chief oversee the day-to-day operations.
  15. 8. What is Karns Fire Department’s ISO rating and why does it matter?
  16. Karns Fire Department’s ISO rating was improved from a 7 to a 4 (1 being the best on a scale from 1-10) in 2016. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) evaluates nearly all fire departments on their ability to suppress a fire. Many insurance companies use ISO ratings in determining the amount to charge for homeowner’s insurance. A lower rating reflects an effective fire department, translating to savings on your insurance premiums due to a reduction in risk. This equates to significant savings (compared to a Class 10) for home owners.
  17. 9. Are my subscription dues still tax deductible?
  18. Yes. The Karns Fire Department is a 501(c)3 organization and all subscription fees are tax deductible.