Our Department



The Columbia Fire Department exists to protect lives, property and the environment through the enforcement of fire codes, presentation of comprehensive public fire safety education programs, the investigation of incidents of arson, and rapid, effective responses to and mitigation of fires, rescue incidents, hazardous material leaks, and natural disasters.


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 2015 population is 407,051, while the city of Columbia is estimated to have 133,803 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

Our citizens must be reasonably free from danger and harmful acts. With the best equipment and training, the department can reduce the risk to the public and its members at all emergency incidents. We commit to the health, safety, and welfare of our members, thus protecting them and enhancing capability and readiness. We aim to eliminate preventable work-related injuries and illnesses through the systematic management of our risks.

  • Reliability- Our commitment to the public we serve is unwavering and consistent. 
  • Teamwork - Teamwork is the basis of our success. We work as a team because we value each other, the community we serve, and our commitment to the CFD mission.
  • Compassion- To be understanding, considerate, sympathetic, and kind hearted to others.
  • Dedication- The faithful observance of duty beckons us to fulfill our obligations professionally and honestly.
  • Bravery - Courage is the foundation of our character. Bravery is the ability to overcome fear through fortitude, instinct, compassion for others and training.
  • Courage- The mental and physical ability to face adversity with focus and determination.
  • Commitment- The act of dedicating one's self, through total effort, to accomplishing the mission. In other words, commitment to your faith, family, and CFD.


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 2016 Stats

Square Miles Area Coverage
Budget-FY 16/17
Number of calls
Water Rescues
Hazmat Calls
Structure Fires
Medical Calls
Busiest Fire Station