Once upon a time, about 20 years ago, I lived in a rural part of Missouri. Our fire protection services were provided by a nearby town's volunteer fire department. They charged us a $50 annual fee. If you paid the fee they'd fight fires on your property, no questions asked. So far, a lot like Tennessee. The difference was if you didn't pay the fee and your house caught on fire. If you said "yes, please, put out the fire," it was a minimum $300 just to roll a truck. Then, when your insurance agent showed up with a check for the damages, someone from the fire department would be there to collect. And if that wasn't enough they'd put a contractor's lien on your property. From what I gathered, the local courts backed the fire department damn near every time. It's not a pretty situation, but it seemed to work out nicely for everyone involved.