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CFD gets huge donation of respirator masks from Schneider Electric

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Columbia-Richland firefighters will be able to keep breathing safely thanks to a major donation this summer from Schneider Electric USA Inc.

The company donated 29 boxes of N95 respirator masks. In all close to 7,000 new, unused masks were provided and the company even transported them from Hopkins to CFD’s logistics department.

N95 masks come in handy for firefighters while responding to medical calls. They also are used by fire investigators while working in burned out properties.

A huge thanks to Schneider Electric for helping keep our crews safe!

Logistics department at CFD offloads 29 cases of respirator masks from Schneider Electric.


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Firefighters raise skills in high-level rope rescue

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About 24 members of Columbia-Richland Fire looked to take their skills to ‘higher levels’ by taking an advanced course in Rope Rescue.

The class, which was hosted at the South Carolina Fire Academy during the week of August 6, drilled firefighters in using basket stretchers from high elevations. Rope Rescue is a basic skill that can be put to use in all types of emergency situations, include rescues on swift water and in high buildings.

“It’s all repetition,” said Jeff Matthews who is the owner of Technical Rescue Consultants.

The company provided the class at the academy from Tuesday through Thursday during the week. A final exercise took place at a site near downtown Columbia on Friday August 10.

Each and every firefighter got practice raising and lowering baskets as belayers, acting as edge attendants and also going with the basket on its accents and descents.

“The interesting this is only one person can be seen on the edge of the rope,” Matthews said, “but you can see {there’s a lot} of background things.”

Matthews added that by drilling with the equipment and practicing critical thinking responders should walk away with the ability to complete a rope rescue in less and less time.

Firefighters in the Advanced Rope Rescue Technician Class

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Fire crews out and about for 2018 National Night Out

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Now in its 35th year, National Night Out once again proved to be an ideal way for Columbia-Richland Fire to connect with the many communities it serves.

Fire crews took to the streets of Columbia and Richland County on the evening of Tuesday, August 7. In all firefighters made stops at festivities from St. Andrews to Lower Richland.

National Night Out is an annual community building campaign that promotes partnerships between first responders and the general public.

Here are just a few of the great moments captured at this year’s National Night Out.


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CFD crews help contain woods fire near Harbison State Forest

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Columbia-Richland fire crews were on hand to aid the South Carolina Forestry Commission in extinguishing a small wildfire near Harbison State Forest in mid-July.

At last report on Tuesday July 17 the fire was controlled.

Crews assisted in containing the wildfire off of Bob Dorn Road after it broke out Wednesday evening July 11.

Harbison woods fire burning on Wednesday July 11

At its largest the fire grew to 4 acres in size. SC Forestry was able to mobilize equipment to build a fire line around the fire and a second contingency fire line for parts of the fire that face nearby residential areas.

The forestry commission said that the suspected cause of the wildfire was fireworks but officials are still investigating.


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Elgin residents honored for saving 4-year-old boy

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Two Midlands residents were recognized Friday for the swift action they took to save a child’s life.

Alex Jackson and Danielle Brown, both of Elgin, received Certificates of Recognition from the department for performing CPR on 4-year-old Chanse Chapman.

Chief Jenkins with Danielle Brown
Chief Jenkins with Alex Jackson

On June 23 both Jackson and Brown were attending a pool party at an apartment complex off of Farrow Road. Sometime after 5 p.m. Jackson said he noticed the child was floating face down in the pool with no signs of movement.

“To be honest I didn’t know what to think,” Jackson said, “I didn’t think, I just reacted.”

After Chapman was pulled out of the water both Jackson and Brown began working to clear the child’s airway. Brown said she began to perform CPR while Jackson helped with chest and back compressions.

“When I saw him {Chapman} he was definitely not breathing,” Brown said.

Chanse Chapman

“We just wasn’t giving up on him,” Jackson remarked.

The child began coughing up water after two to three minutes of CPR. Volunteer Firefighter Jason Nussbaum was the first to arrive on scene and administered further aid until more help arrived.

Captain Gary Parnell, Engineer Daniel Gardner, Firefighter James Byars, A.S.F. Robert Vaught and Volunteer Firefighter Matthew Espieg all responded to the scene. EMT Kelly Berryman and Paramedic Andrew Thacker were also on the call.

Chanse Chapman was taken to an area hospital and has since been discharged. He and his mother Dorothy Chapman were both present at Friday’s award ceremony to thank responders for their timely help.

Certificates of Recognition are awarded by the department to citizens who exhibit courage and commit selfless acts to provide aid to others. Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins would also present both Jackson and Brown with honorary coins.

For more information on CPR training and how to find courses in your area contact the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to


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Graduation brings 15 new firefighters into CFD

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Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins announced the graduation of 15 members of Columbia-Richland Fire’s Recruit Class 18-01 during a graduation ceremony held Thursday evening June 28, 2018 at the South Carolina Fire Academy in Columbia, South Carolina.

Chief Jenkins said, “I am very proud of these recruits, now Probationary Firefighters, for their accomplishments and dedication they have shown over the last 18 weeks and will expect the same as they begin their career with Columbia-Richland Fire.”

These 15 Probationary Firefighters will begin their firefighter careers this weekend as they report to their shifts.

Among the awards presented at graduation by the department was the Maltese Cross, which went to recruit Zakary Humphries. Recruit Sean Stephens was honored with the Bryan P. Roberts Award.


18:01 Recruit Class

RECRUIT CLASS 18-01 with Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins

Toriano Bell            

Dylan Jordan

Marion Binsley        

Benjamin Moseley

Carlos Carter          

Marcus Pee

Michael Hare          

Carlos Rouse

Jack Harle              

Dawson Shealy

Matthew Harlin      

Sean Stephens

Brandon Hixon      

LaTonya Wise

Zakary Humphries

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The Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull Turns Five

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For Immediate Release:

Abigail Pait


 Gather a team to pull a fire truck in honor of a child battling cancer.

Columbia, S.C. – March 1, 2018 – Curing Kids Cancer and the Columbia Fire Department are joining forces for the fifth annual Fire Truck Pull to fund childhood cancer research and treatments. The Pull will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 14 at 1800 Laurel St. in Columbia, rain or shine.

Teams of 10 to 12 people will race to pull a 35,000-pound fire truck for 50 feet. Each team will pull in honor or memory of a child affected by cancer, and will dress up to show the child’s interests or hobbies. These groups not only compete during the pull but they also compete to receive the most donations. The team that raises the most money will receive a one second advantage.

“Last year we had 27 teams pull in honor or memory of a child,” said Grainne Owen, founder of Curing Kids Cancer. “With this being the fifth year, we are hoping to break last year’s record by having at least 30 teams and by raising more money for cutting-edge pediatric cancer research.”

The Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull has donated nearly $100,000 to the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Participation in this event will help to complete Curing Kids Cancer’s $1.2 million endowment for the Gamecocks Curing Kids Cancer Clinic, which will bring cutting edge treatments to children battling cancers in South Carolina.

“The Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull is a highlight in Columbia’s spring calendar,” said Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins of the Columbia Fire Department. “This gives everyone in the Midlands a chance to make a difference to the lives of South Carolina’s children.”

There is still plenty of time to form a team and sign up. Visit for more information about participating in the fifth annual Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull. There will be face painting, food trucks and other attractions during the event.

Curing Kids Cancer will also partake in Midland Gives Day on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

About Curing Kids Cancer:

Grainne and Clay Owen founded Curing Kids Cancer, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to funding cutting edge pediatric cancer therapies, after they lost their son, Killian, to leukemia in 2003. He was only nine years old. Since it was founded in 2005, Curing Kids Cancer has raised more than $11 million to fund new childhood cancer treatments and pediatric cancer research. For more information on how to help, please contact Curing Kids Cancer at 1-866-933-CURE (2873) or visit to learn more.

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Firefighters Paramedics & Doctors Collaborate To Better Understand Vehicle Extrications

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On Wednesday February 15th a joint training exercise occurred; a first of its kind involving firefighters from the Columbia Fire Department, EMTs & Paramedics from Richland County EMS, and residents from Palmetto Health.  The training focused on vehicle extrications and providing patient care during the extrication. 

Over 40 physicians from Palmetto Health’s residency program along with several ER Physicians attended this training which included a lecture from experts in the field of vehicle extrication and then they observed several vehicle extrication scenarios to better understand what occurs during extrication.  In turn Richland County’s EMS and the physicians provided valuable recommendations on best practices with patient care during an incident.

 Towards the end of the training several residents volunteered to be patients inside the vehicles during the extrication this provided firsthand knowledge of what an actual patient may experience during a vehicle entrapment and also how firefighters conduct patient care.

Discussions during and after the completion of the training were completely positive and recommendations from all the attendees including the residents encouraged this training exercise to continue for future residents.

Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins said, “Collaborations like this can only improve how we as first responders provide the best possible patient care during what could be one of the most traumatic incidents an individual can experience.”


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Lifesaving Grant Awarded to Columbia Fire

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Grant will provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to senior citizens in Hopkins

The Columbia Fire Department is proud to announce the award of a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation for $7,885.00. This grant was used to purchase 300 smoke and 200 carbon monoxide alarms that will be distributed primarily to senior citizens in the Hopkins community.

Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins said, “This grant gives us the resources to better protect the members of our community by actively trying to prevent the loss of lives and property through the use of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms”.

“Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation aims to recognize and respond to needs in the community,” said Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications Jackie Gubbins. “Through the Foundation, we’re able to provide departments, and in turn the community, with equipment such as the awarded smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that they might not be able to obtain if it weren’t for our organization. It’s an honor to know we’re helping save lives.”

We encourage all citizens to have properly installed and working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed in their homes. Please visit our website at for more information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as an on-line request form for fire department installation services.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when Firehouse Subs co-founders, Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, traveled to Mississippi where they provided food to first responders and survivors. As they traveled back to Florida, they knew they could do more and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was born with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Since its inception, the non-profit organization has granted more than $29.5 million to hometown heroes in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, including more than $285,000 in New York.

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Line of Duty Death Anniversary – Firefighter Willie Warren

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This morning, all stations were toned out and all members of the Columbia Fire Department paused to remember the anniversary of the Line of Duty Death our brother and fellow Firefighter, Firefighter Willie Warren.
On February 6, 1927, Firefighter Willie Warren was killed when a fire apparatus backed into him while he was behind another apparatus dispatched to fight a fire at the “duck” mill in the 300 block of Gervais Street.
We can only speculate on what future contributions he may have made to our Department, so we can stay strong in spirit, celebrate his life and honor his service.
But today we can acknowledge and remember that Firefighter Warren gave his all and for that we will be forever in his debt and we will never forget our fellow Firefighter, our friend, our brother,
Firefighter Willie Warren.