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The city of Lexington formed a career fire department in 1864. In 1973, the city and Fayette County governments merged, combining both the city and county fire departments. Today, the Lexington Fire Department is the largest single department in Kentucky with 24 stations and 620 personnel, providing both fire and EMS to nearly 286 square miles and 322,000 people. The department operates 23 engine companies, a tanker company, 7 ladder companies, a rescue company, a hazmat unit, and 12 Emergency Care units.