Local fire department fails to meet state standards
RHEA COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) – Channel 3 has learned a fire department in Rhea County has failed to meet state requirements for nearly two years.
Christopher Garrett, spokesman for the State Fire Marshall's Office, tells Channel 3, that without the State's recognition, the Spring City Volunteer Fire Department is not an official agency.
Garrett says the department's date for renewal of recognition was June 30, 2010. According to renewal guidelines, a $50.00 fee and application must be submitted to the Division of Fire Prevention 30 days prior to expiration. The Division is required to mail an application for renewal six months prior to expiration of the three year recognition period.
Garrett says without recognition, Tennessee law makes it is a misdemeanor offense for a fire chief to enter a facility to extinguish a fire.
The recognition also entitles a department to benefits in the event of death or injury.
Garrett says the State has not shutdown the department, because that decision must be made by the city or county.
He says the Fire Marshal's Office will continue to work with Spring City officials on reaching a status of compliance.
Channel 3 has reached out to Spring City officials, but our calls have not been returned.