Jackson has had an active fire department for 94 years. The Jackson Volunteer Fire Department was started in 1927. During this time only 6 men have served as fire chief, W.W. Andrews, George W. Skipper, Jr, Neal Bradley, Bobby Brooks, Harold Everheart and John I Brown.
The first truck was purchased in 1929 for $6500, a 1928 American LeFrance. It was the only truck in the tri-county area for many years. There were no uniforms for the early fireman, not even coats and hats or gloves. They fought fires in whatever they had on at the time.
There were 18 members in 1948 and the JFD had a Class 9 rating. With better equipment, training and an improved water system, JFD gradually upgraded to Class 7, then Class 6. In Oct. 1981 the Jackson Fire Department achieved a Class 4 rating, the first all-volunteer department in the state to qualify for this rating. In 2019 the JFD received a Class 3 fire rating.
In 1950, Chief Skipper organized the first Fire Prevention Week activities. In 1960 Miss Fire Prevention was added and is still active today. Also in 1960, JFD added Junior Firemen, ages 16-18, and the Cadet Program, ages 19-23. JFD was the state’s first fire department to organize juniors and cadets. The junior and cadet program is no longer in use.
John I Brown is the current Fire Chief, assisted by Deputy Chief Daron Bolen. Police Chief Jerry Taylor serves as Director of Public Safety. Jason Thomas is currently Deputy Chief of Public Safety, principally assigned to the Jackson Fire Department. There are currently 55 senior firefighters.
There are nine mobile units, including a rescue truck, three pumpers, two aerial units, a tanker, and a 2,450-gallon capacity “pump on the go” brush truck.
Jackson has three stations where equipment is housed, Downtown Station One, built in 2011-2012, North Jackson Skipper Station Two built in 1986, and Fire Station Three on Club Wiley Road, which was acquired in 2017. A brick training tower was completed behind the North Station in 1998.