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October 14, 2013

Oct. 14, 2013

For more information
Contact: Amanda Shell
Moxley Carmichael
(865) 255-0661


JerJerry_Harnish_023_RGB_157247091226ry Harnish has been confirmed as the permanent regional director of Rural/Metro of Tennessee.

Earlier this month, the former Knox County fire chief was named interim division general manager in charge of both the ambulance and fire divisions of Rural/Metro of Tennessee. This position is now permanent and has been renamed regional director.

Rural/Metro is the largest emergency services provider in East Tennessee with more than 800 employees and emergency ambulance contracts in Knox, Blount, Loudon, Franklin and Polk counties.

Harnish has 33 years of experience in fire and emergency operations, including six years as fire chief in Knox County. Harnish began his career as a firefighter and emergency medical technician with Rural/Metro in 1980. He rose through the fire department ranks and was named fire chief in 2007.

As chief, he has been responsible for protecting 216,500 residents, operating 15 fire stations in Knox County, 12 of which house paramedic engine companies. He managed strategic planning for the department; disaster planning and response; budget; and oversight of the chief officers.

Harnish is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association and the East Tennessee Regional Council of Fire Chiefs, the last of which he chaired in 2010. He currently serves on the board of the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad.

He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory & Henry College in Virginia and is a 1998 graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md.

Harnish has lived in Knox County since 1980 and is married to Dr. Duree Snapp, a veterinarian in East Knox County.

About Rural/Metro of Tennessee

Rural/Metro of Tennessee is the largest emergency service provider in East Tennessee, with a combined workforce of more than 800 firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, telecommunicators and other support personnel. Rural/Metro Ambulance Service is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) with contracts for 911 service in Knox, Blount, Loudon, Franklin and Polk counties.

Rural/Metro Fire Department is the third largest in the state by population protected and has provided fire protection for Knox County since 1977. Rural/Metro Corporation provides emergency and non-emergency medical transportation, fire protection, and other safety services in 22 states and approximately 400 communities throughout the United States.