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Columbia-Richland Fire Department Once Again Named a ‘Fire Safe South Carolina’ Community

For the second year in a row CRFD’s fire prevention work in our communities has earned the department statewide recognition.

Fire Safe South Carolina recently named CRFD a ‘Fire Safe South Carolina’ community for the year 2020. In all 80 fire departments in 33 Palmetto State counties were recognized.

“I am incredibly proud of our department for earning this honor for the second year in a row,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “It is a true testament to the many men and women we have who work to prevent fires and other emergencies in our communities. Arming our citizens with knowledge is the best tool we have to keep people safe. I applaud our CRFD members on their commitment to that mission.”

For Fire Safe South Carolina, designated communities continually work to reduce fire-related injuries in our state, thereby decreasing the risks for residents and firefighters. They also promote consistent fire safety messaging and stress the importance of providing all relative data collected at fire scenes.

“The enthusiasm for obtaining this designation continues to grow, and we remain encouraged by active participation,” Community Risk Reduction Chief Josh Fulbright said. “We congratulate the 80 designees and, even with the pandemic, are excited to see a 40 percent increase from last year.”

Despite challenges associated with the pandemic, it is clear these fire departments continue to provide fire and life safety information to their local citizens.

Specifically, FSSC-designated communities took creative as well as virtual approaches to community risk reduction and documented outreach educational opportunities for nearly 55,000 citizens. In response to COVID-19 the Columbia-Richland Fire Department began using virtual video conferencing programs to carry out many duties of the fire prevention office during 2020. This included conducting virtual fire safety inspections, home safety surveys and smoke alarm installations.

Over the course of 2020 CRFD fire prevention staff conducted 21 virtual fire education presentations as well as 106 virtual home fire safety surveys. The department also maintained its community presence by taking part in 146 parades during the year. Deputy fire marshals also conducted more than 2,100 fire inspections in 2020.

Additionally, more than 1,300 fire service members were trained through the Community Risk Reduction curriculum, and more than 80 fire departments were represented during the annual Life Safety Education Conference.

Fulbright acknowledges the program is effective because of its dedicated community partners.

“With fire departments receiving more than 9,000 smoke alarms donated from their growing list of community partners, these relationships are an important part of this life-saving program.”

Launched in 2017, Fire Safe SC has many partners including the S.C. State Firefighters’ Association, the S.C. State Association of Fire Chiefs, and the S.C. Fire Marshal Association.