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Join Us for the Annual Fire Prevention Parade & Block Party on Saturday 10/13

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This year the City of Columbia’s annual Fire Prevention Parade will be taken to the heart of area communities in the Capital City.

Columbia-Richland Fire Rescue is planning a day of fun and educational outreach that will come together on a Saturday. The route of the parade will also be different as participants will be marching  from W.A. Perry Middle School to Drew Park off of Harden Street.

Following the parade a community block party will take place at the Charles R. Drew Wellness Center located at 211 Walker Solomon Way.

“In years past we’ve had this parade downtown on Main Street on a weekday. This year and in the years to come we will take the parade to the communities,” said Fire Education Officer Bengie Leverett, “This will be a great opportunity for us to take fire prevention and education to the communities and allow the communities to take part in this event.”

Parade participants will meet at the parking lot of W.A. Perry Middle at 9:30 a.m. on October 13. The school is located at 2600 Barhamville Road in Columbia.

The parade will begin at the corner of Barhamville Road and Germany Street. It  will end at the corner of Barhamville Road and Matthews Street. Following the parade, participants will be served lunch at the Drew Wellness Center.

The community block party will feature food vendors, games, fire trucks on display and informational booths focused on fire prevention.

The theme set for Fire Prevention Week 2018 is “Look-Listen-Learn.  Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”

To register for the parade contact Fire Education Officer Bengie Leverett at bengie.leverett@columbiasc.gov.

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Be Ready for Hurricane Michael

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With Hurricane Michael expected to impact South Carolina late Wednesday and into Thursday Columbia-Richland Fire is asking all area residents to be prepared for rough weather.

Currently the storm is projected to drop up to 2-4 inches of rain across much of the region. Those conditions could lead to downed trees and the potential for flash flooding.

The National Weather Service has placed much of the central Midlands under a Flash Flood Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning. Hurricane Michael will also bring the risk of at least 40 mph winds and the possibility of tornadoes.

As always we want to caution you on the following ahead of the storm:

     – if a power line comes down near you, assume that the line is live and STAY AWAY!

     – while driving if you come across a flooded roadway TURN YOUR VEHICLE AROUND and DO NOT PROCEED. Just 12 inches of flowing water can be enough to carry off a small car.

     – be prepared for your home or business to lose power! Have flashlights ready with a good supply of batteries.

     -have the necessary items for an emergency kit (non perishable food items, water, etc) in case impacts of the storm turn severe. For more information on putting together an emergency kit, click here . 

Columbia-Richland Fire will continue to pass along updates as the storm moves through.

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2018 National Fire Prevention Week is Here!

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Sunday October 7, 2018 officially ushered in National Fire Prevention Week across the U.S.A.

As we get the week started Columbia-Richland Fire wants to tell you a little bit about this year’s theme for the week created by the National Fire Protection Association.

‘LOOK. LISTEN. LEARN.’

Basically our firefighters want you all to take a little time this week to LOOK around your properties.

Are there any potential hazards you see that COULD cause a fire? Some common issues could be:

       -overloaded electric sockets in the wall

       -unattended items left on the stove

       -unattended heating devices like space heaters

       -unattended candles or other items that create an open flame

If you see anything that could be a fire hazard take steps to fix it.

‘Look. Listen. Learn.’ is this year’s theme for National Fire Prevention Week!

Next point — LISTEN for the smoke alarm. If you have a fire in your home or business hearing an alarm will give you the crucial time you need to get out safely.

Once you get outside, stay outside. Also be sure your smoke alarms are working and in the proper place!

Finally — LEARN what to do to escape your property if there’s a fire.

Make an escape plan that has 2 ways out of every room and a meeting place for people to go to when they get outside. Be sure to practice your escape plan with your family or work staff frequently.

For more tips from NFPA for Fire Prevention Week, click here.

 

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Son of Columbia firefighter scheduled for major surgery to correct blood disorder

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The toughest days now lie ahead for one couple in the CFD fire family as their 3-year-old son will likely receive a bone marrow transplant within the next week.

“I’m scared and nervous for different reasons. I’m scared for him…just not being able to explain to him what’s getting ready to happen,” said Courtney Nuovo.

Firefighter Mark Nuovo and his wife Courtney traveled to Atlanta this week. There their 3-year-old son James will undergo a bone marrow transplant at an area hospital.

Nuovo and her husband Mark traveled with their son James to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta this week. There he will receive the bone marrow transplant after going through several days of chemotherapy.

At three years old James is currently living with Hypocellular Myelodysplastic Syndrome. It’s an extremely rare genetic disorder that disrupts his body’s ability to properly form blood cells.

As a result the Nuovos say their child’s immune system is incredibly fragile and he’s at an elevated risk to develop aggressive leukemia.

At this point they have been advised that the only solution is to transplant new genetic material into their son to help correct the disorder.

“I’m actually just nervous what’s going to happen,” Courtney Nuovo said, “not every day somebody has a bone marrow transplant.”

“We’re looking forward to getting him better to where he can go out and enjoy life as a normal child,” said Mark Nuovo, who has been a firefighter with CFD for many years.

“It’s second nature now just trying to protect him from germs,” he added.

The Nuovos say they faced a long waiting period so doctors could find a bone marrow match for their son. At this point two potential donors have been lined up for the transplant.

After the surgery James will likely have to remain in Atlanta for several months to recover.

“I’m just ready for him to go out, play and not have to worry about ‘is he gonna get sick..wash your hands’…let him be a regular boy child,” Courtney Nuovo said.

“I can’t wait for him to be able to enjoy things that he hasn’t even been able to enjoy,” she added.

The couple says costs associated with their son’s treatment has been and will continue to be substantial.

If you would like to offer support to the couple by making a financial contribution, click here.

A Spaghetti Dinner to benefit the Nuovo family is scheduled for Saturday October 20, 2018 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in West Columbia from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. The cost of a dinner is $10.

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28 firefighter recruits at CFD set to begin training on Monday

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More than two dozen recruits to join Columbia-Richland Fire kicked off the long trek to earn their badges with orientation night on Thursday October 4, 2018.

Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins addresses incoming recruit class at its orientation.

 

Many families were in attendance as prospective firefighters were issued their training gear. Each recruit was also given a CFD badge by Assistant Chief Jamie Helms which they will have to keep with them and protect through the next 18 weeks.

Classes for the recruits will begin on Monday. Good luck everyone!

(Photos courtesy of Cynthia Santa Cruz, CFD Training Coordinator)

 

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CFD Engine crew honored for saving child from drowning

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Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins recognized five members of CFD’s Second Shift for actions they took to save the life of a 2-year-old boy over the summer.

(from left to right) CFD Battalion Chief Daniel Lowery, Engineer Michael LeGrand, Senior Firefighter D.J. Watson, Firefighter Caleb Jacobs & Firefighter Mark O’Donnell.

Battalion Chief Daniel Lowery, Engineer Michael LeGrand, Senior Firefighter D.J. Watson, Firefighter Caleb Jacobs and Firefighter Mark O’Donnell all received certificates of merit on the afternoon of October 1, 2018. The awards were pressented by Chief Jenkins himself at CFD Station 2.

Back on July 15 the crew responded to an apartment complex on Whaley Street in Columbia after a call came in that a child had nearly drowned there.

Battalion Chief Lowery arrived on the scene first where he found the boy lying unresponsive in a chair by the complex pool. At that point he quickly began pounding on the child’s back to get him to start breathing.

Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins presents Firefighter Caleb Jacobs with a certificate of recognition.

LeGrand, Watson, Jacobs and O’Donnell all were working on Engine 2 that day and arrived seconds later.

“They did great,” Battalion Chief Lowery said of the crew, “there wasn’t no hesitation.”

The Engine 2 team then began to clear the child’s airway. By the time EMS arrived the boy was beginning to regain consciousness.

The child was later identified as 2-year-old William ‘Isaiah’ Maggiacomo. After being taken from the scene he was admitted to an area hospital where he made a full recovery.

His grandmother Pam Thompson thanked the CFD crew for their life-saving work.

“I think it took till Thursday of that week and by Friday he was running again,” Thompson said of her grandson, “He’s doing wonderful. He’s just full of energy.”

Thompson added that she hopes to visit the team in the near future to offer her thanks in person. 

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Special Ops crews provide rescue support to Grand Strand in wake of flooding

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Columbia-Richland Fire was thrilled to welcome back 15 of our members who lent crucial support to Georgetown and Horry counties in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Florence.

Special operations crews with the department made their return to the Midlands on Sunday, September 30, 2018. This came exactly one week after they were sent to Pawleys Islands to assist the community.

In the weeks after Florence, parts of Georgetown County would experience significant flooding as water levels on the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee rivers began to rise.

When area flooding reached its crest on September 27, CFD teams were working late into the night performing search missions. Their partners in the operation included crews with the Charleston Fire Department and the South Carolina National Guard. 

After wrapping up their service to Pawleys Island the crews were then moved to Horry County to provide more aid over the weekend.

In all the teams traveled more than 890 miles and were on the clock for several hundred hours. 

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CFD crews ready in Grand Strand ahead of likely post-Florence flooding

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With some coastal communities in South Carolina likely to face days of steady flooding in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Florence, crews with Columbia-Richland Fire have arrived in the Grand Strand to help.

“The area is prone to sinkholes,” said CFD Special Operations Chief Dan McManus, “so that’s obviously a concern with all of this water.”

McManus is part of a 15-member team that the department deployed to Pawleys Island on Sunday. Area rivers there could begin rising late Tuesday as more runoff from Florence flows down along the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee rivers.

CFD’s team has joined members of the South Carolina National Guard and other agencies in committing resources to the region ahead of any major problems. Equipment supplied by the department includes several rescue boats, a collapse rescue truck and two all-terrain vehicles.

“Everything is coming from the land,” McManus said of the likely flooding that is expected to hit the area.

On Tuesday crews continued to get radios and other equipment ready ahead of the rising waters. Their missions Tuesday night will likely include helping with any needed rescues, assessing any damage to area properties and performing welfare checks.

Responders are preparing for the likelihood that flooding will lead to properties collapsing. 

(Photos Courtesy of CFD Special Operations)

 

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Community stepping up to help sick child of Columbia firefighter

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In recent weeks an outpouring of support has been flowing in for one of our fire families as it is caught in a living nightmare.

Months ago Firefighter Mark Nuovo and his wife Courtney got news that their son James was born with a rare blood disorder called Hypocellular Myelodysplastic Syndrome. It’s so rare that it took doctors around the United States two years to detect.

Little James Nuovo is battling an extremely rare blood disorder that has severely weakened his immune system.

At the age of three James is now facing a life-threatening condition that disrupts his body’s ability to form blood cells properly. That includes white blood cells which has caused his immune system to be severely weakened.

Without a necessary bone marrow transplant his parents say the disorder could cause James to develop an aggressive leukemia that’s hard to treat.

“This is the hardest and most difficult experience I’ve ever dealt with as a husband, father or even as a firefighter,” Nuovo wrote, “As a firefighter I help people. I come to their rescue. I do what I can… what I’m trained to do to help them with their problem, that is my job; I know what to do and how to do it. But when my son became sick, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t help or rescue him. As a father you’re never trained how to prepare for the unimaginable or the unthinkable.”

James is currently on a list to receive a bone marrow transplant through Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Yet Mark and Courtney say while they await news on the procedure medical costs have been adding up.
They say once a donor is found James will have to go through chemotherapy before surgery can take place. After the procedure he will have to stay in Atlanta for at least three months.

On September 19, 2018 the South Carolina State Firefighter’s Association Foundation presented the couple with a check.

The Nuovo’s have received much support from the community. That includes a check that was presented September 19 by the South Carolina State Firefighter’s Association Foundation.

Nuovo’s fellow firefighters have also been hosting fundraisers to lend aid to the family.

A Go Fund Me Page has been set up to help the Nuovo’s. If you would like to offer your support click here.