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 around 500,000 people within 300+ square miles that 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.