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In 2003, the city of Louisville and Jefferson County governments merged.  Most services consolidated, with the exception of fire protection. Today, 10 remaining fire departments collectively protect 398 square miles and over 770,000 people.  

The Louisville Division of Fire is the second largest fire department in Kentucky.  It is responsible for protecting approximately 62 square miles and 240,000 people within the “Urban Services District,” or former city limits of Louisville. Fire protection in Louisville dates back to when the city settled in 1778 and incorporated in 1828. Early forms consisted of fire brigades and then an organized Louisville Volunteer Fire Department. On May 27, 1858, the Louisville Fire Department was established, becoming the third fully-paid fire department in the United States. Today, the department has a force of approximately 500 personnel.  Louisville staffs 18 engine companies, 3 quint companies, 5 truck companies, and several specialty units from 21 stations.