State Recognition and Local Approval Required
T.C.A. §§ 68-102-301, et seq., require state recognition before a firefighting organization may operate or raise funds as a fire department. The state fire marshal enforces this law and sets standards and qualifications for becoming and remaining a fire department. Certificates of recognition are valid for three years, after which the fire department must apply for a renewal. T.C.A. § 68-102-306 provides that no new fire department may be created or recognized without the approval of the local governing body. Any person violating the law is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine only under T.C.A. § 68-102-307.
The rules for fire department recognition may be found at http://share.tn.gov/sos/rules/0780/0780-02/0780-02-20.20150824.pdf