Karns Fire Department hosted the Northwest Knox Business & Professional Association’s Sept. 21 meeting at the Hardin Valley Station. It’s all part of club president R. Larry Smith’s effort to expand club membership throughout the northwest Knox County area.
Fire Chief Daron Long and his crew served Firehouse Subs and fixings – a great touch for the dinnertime gathering.
The Karns Fire Department has served an area of 65 square miles in four communities in Northwest Knox County since 1978. There are four fire stations – Karns, Ball Camp, Hardin Valley and Solway – providing fire protection, emergency medical first-response, hazardous materials response, rescue support, and public education for over 40,000 residents and businesses.
The KFD was launched as the Karns Volunteer Fire Department and began conversion in 2001 to a combination fire department, using both volunteers and paid staff. Today, KFD has 10 full-time, paid firefighters and three captains, along with numerous volunteers.
In 2010, KFD implemented a mandatory membership program, as enabled by state law. This stable financing led to increased levels of emergency care. The newest engine, complete with a 75-feet ladder, was showcased at Thursday’s event. Purchased for $800,000, it will aid in fighting fires in multi-story office buildings and apartments.
Also present was attorney Jesse Nelson, who will be a candidate for state representative from District 89. Rep. Roger Kane is not seeking re-election. Nelson’s daughter was fascinated by the fire equipment.
Nelson runs the Nelson Law Group in West Knox County. A Tennessee native, he graduated from Lambuth University and the University of Mississippi Law School in Oxford. He has practiced law since 2006, first in Jackson, Tenn., and now in Knoxville. His firm handles employment and family law.