The Jessamine County Fire Department was formed as a volunteer fire organization in 1957. The Jessamine County Fire Department was funded by the Jessamine County Fiscal Court, donations, and bean supper fund raisers. Chief Billy Bruce Seals was the first Fire Chief for the Jessamine County Fire Department. Responding in used trucks purchased from the Forestry Department and Lexington Fire Department, a department of 7 members answered calls for service in Jessamine County.
The Jessamine County Fire District was formed in 1972 under KRS Chapter 75. KRS Chapter 75 required, among other obligations, the formation of a Board of Trustees consisting of seven members, three elected by the public, two appointed by the County Judge-Executive, and two fire fighter elected representatives. The first Chairman of the Board was Hyter Woods. Under KRS Chapter 75, the Jessamine County Fire District was capable of generating revenue by imposing a tax on real property. The tax rate at that time was 1.7%. Chief Willard Price was the first Chief of the Jessamine County Fire District. He responded to fire calls in Jessamine County with 1 truck and 12 members.
In 1989, the Jessamine County Fire District assumed the responsibility for answering rescue calls in Jessamine County. Since the days of hand powered rescue tools and one set of JAWS, the Jessamine County Fire District has grown its’ response capabilities to include rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, swift water rescue, structural collapse rescue, and large animal rescue. The Jessamine County Fire District is home to the Jessamine County Technical Rescue Team comprised of members from JCFD, Nicholasville Fire Department, and Wilmore Fire Department; JCFD is also home to the Bluegrass Emergency Response Team rescue hub.
Today, the Jessamine County Fire District continues its’ proud history of volunteer service to the county. It is comprised of sixty members, seven stations, and nineteen apparatus. In 2005, a Training Bureau was formed to provide regular training in fire, rescue, EMS, and recruit training. The Jessamine County Fire District began staffing Station 1 part-time in 2005. To meet the demands of a rapidly growing county, Station 6 was staffed part-time in 2007. Chief Mike Rupard was the first full-time firefighter and the first full-time Fire Chief of the Jessamine County Fire District hired on October 1, 2007.
Sadly, the Jessamine County Fire District carries the loss of three firefighters; their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
On January 2, 1993, Chief Mike Wheeler and Firefighter Cecil Fain died in the line of duty in a tanker truck roll over on East Hickman Road; they were returning from a fire in Tates Creek Estates. In an effort to pay tribute to these firefighters, the members of the Jessamine County Fire District developed the J2C. It is displayed proudly to serve as a constant reminder of the dedication and sacrifice made by Chief Wheeler and Firefighter Fain in service to the Jessamine County Fire District.
On April 1, 2004, Firefighter Joe Northup died in the line of duty from a heart attack after responding to a call earlier that day. In an effort to pay tribute to Firefighter Northrup, the members of the Jessamine County Fire District decided to add a banner under the J2C and include the unit number of Firefighter Northup, 290. It is displayed proudly to serve as a constant reminder of the dedication and sacrifice made by Firefighter Northup in service to the Jessamine County Fire District.