Major changes are underway to ambulance and fire services in Rutherford County, including the potential creation of a public safety director and a restructuring of the Fosterville/Midland Fire Department.

Not all the details have been announced, but they include the incorporation of the Fosterville/Midland Fire Department under the umbrella of the Rutherford County Fire & Rescue department, County Mayor Bill Ketron said.

Fosterville/Midland has been a volunteer fire department operated by a board of directors outside of the Rutherford County government’s control. The department rebuilt and reopened around the end of 2008 after closing the previous year, according to a Dec. 8, 2008, Murfreesboro Post story. The department improved its Insurance Services Office rating from Class 9 to Class 5 last year, according to a Murfreesboro Post story last year.

Keeping a volunteer department staffed is difficult, Ketron said, and some of the department’s volunteers have left. Under the new structure, RCFR firefighters, who are paid county staff, will join the remaining volunteers at one of the two stations. The department’s other station, which is owned by a private individual, will close.

In another change, the county will co-locate Emergency Medical Services dispatch with the City of Murfreesboro, Ketron said. The county is trying to coordinate this with its plans to buy new emergency communications equipment, which is a crucial detail since the county will spend $16 million to $17 million on the radio gear.

During a Murfreesboro City Council workshop last Wednesday, Mayor Shane McFarland said there had been “significant developments” regarding the city’s relationship with EMS, which has been strained for several years.

Another change involves the county’s emergency services leadership.

EMS Director Bill Nunley retired as of Monday, Ketron said. Two of his top directors retired as well. There is a vacancy for the director of the Emergency Management Agency too. The EMA and EMS director jobs will be advertised nationally this week.

Ketron said he would like create a new position, a public safety director, who would oversee the fire, EMS and EMA directors. Because the position is new, it would have to be approved by the Rutherford County Commission and funded in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, which starts July 1, Ketron said.

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