FAIRFIELD GLADE FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Fairfield Glade Fire Department was formed in 1974 in response to several serious fires occurring in our young but growing community. Waiting for the county fire department to travel to Fairfield Glade was not a suitable solution for our residents as they watched their homes being destroyed by fire. So, an organizing effort was undertaken by Flo Heimann to establish our own fire department. He became our first Fire Chief.
Flo worked to obtain funding for equipment and a fire station and began recruiting volunteers. By early 1976, the fire and security building was completed, a 750 gallon fire engine had been acquired and the roster of volunteers numbered 25. We were in the business of fighting fires.
Always in need of more equipment, our early volunteers decided to sell pancakes to raise funds. The first of our now famous Pancake Breakfasts occurred early that summer in what is now Station One on Peavine Rd with 8 tables for seating our guests. Word spread quickly throughout Fairfield Glade and soon, we had more business than we could handle, but we did manage to get some badly needed funds for the fire department. Over the next couple years we purchsed some bunker coats and pants, boots, helmets, gloves, radios and pagers. Many of these items had to be shared among the firefighters because there weren't enough for every firefighter. We continue to this day frying our pancakes, three Saturdays each summer in order to make ends meet. We now serve between 1,500 and 2,000 breakfasts at each event.
In 1979, Ed Ellenberg took over as Fire Chief. In 1981 we stood for our first Insurance Services Office (ISO) inspection. They evaluate various communities' fire protection capabilities all across the United States. We were awarded a rating of 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 was really good and 10 indicated no fire protection at all. We were a basic volunteer fire department with minimal equipment, but Fairfield Glade wasn't a 10 anymore.
By 1986, the permanent population of Fairfield Glade had reached nearly 2,000 people. We had about 750 homes, 256 condos, 99 townhomes and our community began building a couple hundred "Timeshare" units. Our fire district was indeed growing, and it was a struggle for the fire department to keep up with our growth. Then in 1987, with the help of our residents, we managed to purchase a new fire truck from E-One, and were we ever proud of that. Sure was nice to have a "new one". And we managed to do it again in 1989 when we got another one. We were in high cotton in the Fairfield Glade Fire Department!
In 2000, it was time to get inspected again by the ISO. With our enhanced capabilities of newer equipment, more firefighters and much better training, we managed to improve our rating to 5. Our fire insurance costs were coming down for all our residents.
As the calendar clicked over to the 21st Century, we learned how to apply for grants from the government and began some serious upgrading of the equipment we used regularly. We acquired new air packs, turnout gear, wild land gear, pagers and a new pumper/tanker with significantly greater capabilities. We also built two remote stations to spread out our fire apparatus in Fairfield Glade, one North and one South as recommended by the ISO audit.
Again in 2010, it was time for another ISO inspection, and we again moved up the ladder with a 4 rating. We were then and still are to this day, ranked in the top 12th percentile of all fire departments in the state of Tennessee. This is exceptional for an all volunteer fire department. We are indeed very proud of what we have accomplished over the past 41 years!