Fire & EMS

Thanks for visiting with us through our web site. The history of the Fire Service itself is rich with tradition and our department is no different. This department was started in May of 1926 by City Leaders and members of the American Legion, Post 117, headquartered here in Paintsville. Old records at City Hall show that the Town Marshall, W.H. Ward, was appointed Fire Chief on a temporary basis until a permanent Chief could be found. Then exactly thirty days later, John H. Chandler was called upon to fill that position, he served for six years. The rest is as follows:

Bruce Wiley–1932–Served 2 years

Arthur E. Pope–1934–Served 3 years

Charles Stricklin–1937–Served 3 years

Heber Ward–1940–Served 4 years

John Cottle–1944–Served 6 years

W. L. Rigsby–1950–Served 2 years

Earl McCloud–1952–Served 6 years

Lee Howard, Jr–1958–Served 18 years

Bob Dixon–1976–Served 2 years

Randall Hayslett–1978–Served 10 years

Doug Wallen–1988–Served as Interim Chief until January 1989–Was also serving as Chief of Police at time.

Paul Burke–1989–Served 1 year.

Bob Dixon–1990–2012

This Department is an extremely important part of our community providing fire suppression, rescue, fire prevention, BLS and ALS Emergency Medical Services, and other services to what we believe to be the finest citizens anywhere. The men and women of this Department work and train very hard so they can provide our citizens the most advanced level of emergency services available. We are also very proud to offer our citizens an I.S.O Rating of 4. Feel free to use the attached links to see other area of our Department. And once again, Thanks for visiting with us.


The men and women of our EMS Branch are very passionate about bringing a high level of professional emergency medical care to the citizens we serve in the City of Paintsville and Johnson County.

Our EMS service started in April of 1996 at a Basic Life Support level, however, City leaders quickly realized that we could and should provide a higher level of care. So therefore, plans were implemented to bring our service to an Advanced Life Support level of care. After a tremendous amount of work, training, and purchasing very expensive equipment, we began providing this ALS level of care on October 1, 1998. Our Firefighter/Paramedics and Firefighter/EMTs are constantly training and strive to provide the very “Best” care to their patients. Our EMS Director Gary McClure recently said “Our staff always gives 110% when it comes to caring for our patients, however, no honor is more significant than the sincere word of thanks and praise we constantly receive from our patients for helping them in their time of need”.