CRFD Members Honored with Awards at 2022 Fire-Rescue Conference

The 2022 state Fire-Rescue Conference ended with what would be a big night for the Columbia-Richland Fire Department.

Several members of CRFD were recognized on Saturday June 11 during the awards banquet that closed the conference at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Firefighters with the department received two ‘Meritorious Awards’ from the South Carolina State Firefighters Association while retired CRFD Training Captain Jack Veal was inducted into the SCSFA Hall of Fame.

“I am proud of what our members accomplished here tonight and was glad to be on hand to see them accept these incredible honors,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “We thank the South Carolina State Firefighters Association for organizing these awards to commend our state’s firefighters. While honors and accolades is not the reason we do this job it is still inspiring to be recognized by our fire service peers.”

“Our members winning these awards is a true testament to the great work that all of our firefighters do here at CRFD every day to keep our citizens safe,” Jenkins added.

CRFD 3rd Shift and volunteer members accept Meritorious Award for 2021 Rescue at House Fire
CRFD 1st Shift members accept Meritorious Award for 2020 River Rescue

Nine CRFD firefighters received one ‘Meritorious Award’ for their work rescuing a mother and her child from a fast-moving house fire that happened in February of 2021. Both victims were found unconscious in the home by firefighters and quickly moved out of the structure through a window as conditions inside deteriorated. Firefighters then began performing CPR on both patients until EMS transported them from the scene. While the child unfortunately passed away days later the mother did survive the incident.

The second ‘Meritorious Award’ was presented to CRFD 1st Shift crews that responded to a water rescue on the Broad River in August of 2020. The incident unfolded when a teenage boy fell on the low head dam near the Columbia Canal and his foot became entrapped in rocks and debris beneath the surface of the water.

Fire crews worked for a period of several hours to free the teen and get him to safety all while the water level on the river was rising and weather conditions deteriorated. The teen escaped the incident with no injuries.

In addition to the ‘Meritorious Awards’ one former member of CRFD also received the honor of being inducted into the South Carolina State Firefighters Association Hall of Fame.

Captain Jack Herman Veal retired in 2021 after working 43 years in the South Carolina fire service. During the last 24 years he was a member of CRFD where he trained countless firefighters as an officer in our training division. Captain Veal also taught firefighters at the South Carolina Fire Academy. There he led instruction in 51 of the academy’s courses and also helped create curriculum by putting together a course in fighting fires fueled by flammable gas.