Our Department



We save lives and protect property through community risk reduction and professional emergency response to the public we serve.


The Columbia Fire Department serves Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, as well as a 772 square-mile area of Richland County. The County’s estimated 2020 population is 416,147, while the city of Columbia is estimated to have 136,632 residents. However, with the numerous and varied governmental agencies and local businesses within the Capital City, its daytime work force easily exceeds 400,000 persons.

The Columbia Fire Department is the sole provider of fire services for local, state, and federal government buildings in both the city and the county. The City of Columbia and Richland County have entered into a contract to provide fire protection to the entire county. One department allows the City / County the ability to better plan and staff emergency response units without needless duplication of services.

The Columbia Fire Department currently has a budgeted 514 positions both career firefighters and administration—491 career Firefighters and 23 non-sworn/administration. Additionally, the Columbia Fire Department has 120 Volunteer Firefighters that serve in 20 fire stations throughout Richland County; with the 12 stations within the City of Columbia, the CFD supports 32 fire stations.

The Columbia Fire Department provides county-wide service and has jurisdictional cooperation with five municipalities and the county. In addition to providing fire protection to the Capital City, CFD is the sole provider of fire protection to the towns of Blythewood, Arcadia Lakes, Eastover, and Forest Acres, along with Richland County. CFD also has mutual aid agreements with two nearby military bases—McEntire Air National Guard Base and Fort Jackson. Fort Jackson, which is located within Richland County, is the largest, initial training facility in the US Army. The Columbia Fire Department also has mutual aid agreements with six surrounding counties.


Core Values

Columbia Fire Department holds our core values in high regard:

  • COMMUNITY representing both citizens and employees.
  • INTEGRITY with Professionalism
  • SERVICE above self.


Protecting the Citizens of the City and County

Insurance Services Office rates over 48,600 fire-protection areas within the United States of which 601 are in South Carolina.  The City of Columbia’s new ISO PPC Class 1 rating establishes it with an elite group of less than 1% nationally achieving this rating. Furthermore the Columbia Fire Department is now one of only 14 fire-protection areas in South Carolina to currently have a Class 1 rating. This is the City of Columbia’s first Class 1 rating in the Columbia Fire Department’s 113 year history.  This Class 2 is for properties within five road miles of a fire station.

Richland County has obtained its highest rating by advancing to a Class 2 from a Class 4, after its last inspection in 2006.  This Class 2 rating places Richland County in the top 2% nationally and is one of only 73 of the 601 fire-protection areas in the State to reach this significant accomplishment.

Columbia Fire Department 2021 Stats

Square Miles Area Coverage
Budget-FY 20/21
Calls Answered
Water Rescue Calls
Hazmat Calls
Fire Calls
Rescue & EMS Calls
Busiest Engine