FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 1, 2013
For more information,
Contact: Amanda Shell
On Feb. 2, Rural/Metro will celebrate 65 years since its founding in 1948. Locally, Rural/Metro has been the official emergency ambulance service provider for Knoxville and Knox County since 1985. It has provided fire service to Knox County areas outside the Knoxville city limits since 1977.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett issued a proclamation in honor of the company’s anniversary declaring Feb. 2 Rural/Metro Day and thanking the exemplary Rural/Metro employees for their long service to the community.
“Rural/Metro is a valuable member of this community, and its trusted paramedics, EMTs and firefighters help keep our residents safe every day,” said Mayor Burchett. “I am honored to present this proclamation to Rural/Metro to mark the company’s anniversary and its outstanding service to this community.”
The company celebrated its founding and honored its dedicated employees by hosting an employee appreciation breakfast at its ambulance operations center on Friday, Feb. 1.
“Sixty-five years ago, Rural/Metro was founded with the goal of providing excellent public safety to those it served,” said Rob Webb, Rural/Metro division general manager. “For more than 25 years, we’ve worked hard to achieve that goal in Knox County and to make our community a safer place to live and work.”
Lou Witzeman founded Rural/Metro 65 years ago after discovering his unincorporated town in Arizona was lacking in fire protection. Witzeman pioneered the idea of a private, subscription-based fire department with one fire truck that served a small subdivision. Today, Rural/Metro has grown to be one of the largest providers of emergency medical and fire services in the country.
Nationally, Rural/Metro impacts nearly 1.5 million lives annually in 21 states and 700 cities and counties across the nation through its ambulance and specialty fire protection services. The company boasts nearly 8,000 paramedics, EMTs and firefighters and 2,000-plus professional staff.
Rural/Metro of Tennessee is the largest emergency service provider in East Tennessee, with a combined work force of more than 800 firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, telecommunicators and other support personnel. Rural/Metro Ambulance Service is the only accredited provider in the state, with contracts for 911 service in Knox, Blount, Loudon, Franklin and Polk counties.