In 2003, the city of Louisville and Jefferson County governments merged. Most services consolidated, an exception being fire protection. Today, 19 separate fire departments protect 400 square miles and 760,000 people of a mostly unified Louisville Metro.
"Suburban Fire" or the Jefferson County Fire Service consists of 17 individual fire protection districts that collectively protect 495,000 within 333 square miles that generally surround the former city limits of Louisville. The city of Shively maintains a municipal fire department, as well. There are also a number of airport, military, and industrial agencies and brigades, as well as several former fire departments that have disbanded, merged, or consolidated.