The Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Department (TAVFD) was organized in 1979 to provide protection for the city of Townsend and the surrounding area. This area extends from Hatcher's Cut to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) and from Rich Mountain to the Sevier County line. The area comprises about 35 square miles.
The fire department is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization staffed by volunteers who are ready to answer the alarm. Of course, not all of these active members are available all the time. Some members are trained and certified as Emergency Medical Technicians, Medical First Responders, Swift Water Rescuers, and Rope Rescue personnel.
The TAVFD responds to fire, medical, rescue and other emergencies in its response area and maintains mutual aid agreements with surrounding emergency units to supplement its resources.
The TAVFD's ISO rating is 6/6X.
TAVFD has four stations.
TAVFD apparatus include two pumpers, two tank trucks, one first response/rescue truck, one brush/wildland fire truck, three rescue trucks, and two support vehicles.
The TAVFD department members are all volunteers. No one is paid for serving. Some members are trained and certified as Emergency Medical Technicians, Medical First Responders, Swift Water Rescuers, and Rope Rescue personnel.