————— THE FIRE CHIEF OF THE COLUMBIA FIRE DEPARTMENT —————
Aubrey D. Jenkins began his duties as the Fire Chief of the Columbia Fire Department on July 20, 2011. The Columbia Fire Department serves Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, as well as a 660 square-mile area of Richland County. Prior to serving as Fire Chief, Chief Jenkins worked his way up through the ranks as a Firefighter from 1979 to 1984, a Relief Fire Equipment Operator from 1982 to 1984, Fire Equipment Operator from 1984 to 1988, Captain from 1988 to 1993, Battalion Chief from 1993 to 2005, and Deputy Chief from 2005 to 2011. He currently leads 570 employees, including 130 volunteer firefighters, located in 32 stations. Of these 32 stations, 14 are considered “volunteer stations” as they are staffed predominantly by volunteer firefighters.
He is a graduate of Eau Claire High School, the South Carolina Executive Institute and he received his undergraduate degree from Columbia Southern University in Fire Science. He is the chairman of the City of Columbia Grievance Committee, certified as an Emergency Medical Responder Instructor, a South Carolina Fire Academy Instructor, and an American Red Cross First Aide Instructor.
As the Fire Chief, he has received a variety of honors and awards. He was an inductee of the Columbia Housing Authority Wall of Fame. He was made the Honorary Chair for the 2015 Walk Like MADD. He received the Volunteer of the Year Award, Citizen of the Year Award, and Recognition Award for Participation in after school programs to teach first aid and safety to youth and mentoring programs. His additional honors include being named Columbia Firefighter of the Year, City of Columbia Employee of the month, being presented with a Life Saver Award from the City of Columbia for rescuing a baby from a burning structure. He was a 2007 recipient of the Columbia Urban League Lincoln C. Jenkins Jr. Award, and received a Certificate of Recognition for Extraordinary Personal Action, and numerous other achievements. His most significant accomplishment includes achieving a class 1 ISO rating, the highest rating for local fire protection efforts based on ISO’s fire suppression rating schedule. He is the first and only Fire Chief in the Columbia Fire Department to achieve this milestone.
Chief Jenkins is a member of Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ where he serves as a deacon and Chairman of the Brotherhood Department. He is married to Vernell Trapp Jenkins and they have two adult sons, Emanuel and Sheldon.