The approach of the summer season is expected to draw more and more area boaters out on the waters of Lake Murray for events and recreation. In order to provide added security and safety for citizens, the Columbia-Richland Fire Department (CRFD) is now working with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) to joint staff two RCSD boats during peak days of lake traffic.
These Marine Teams will patrol portions of Lake Murray to provide swift response for any incidents that may require law enforcement or emergency medical care.
Joint press conference on May 26 announcing formation of CRFD/RCSD Marine Teams
“We welcome the opportunity to partner with the Columbia-Richland Fire Department,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “This partnership will expand the services that would be available to citizens on the waterways. Adding medical emergency services to the security, search and rescue and recovery efforts we already provide will increase our ability to address all emergency calls.”
“I’m excited for this partnership with RCSD as both of our agencies support the same mission to keep our citizens safe,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “Every second matters when a person is facing a medical emergency and if they’re out on the water getting access to them can be especially difficult. Reaching people in need of care will be significantly easier using these boats provided by the sheriff’s department.”
RCSD boats will be staffed by members of both agencies during the Memorial Day Weekend, Independence Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend as well as during large-scale boating events on Lake Murray such as Drift Jam Flotilla and the Reggaetronic Music Festival.
All firefighters and deputies working the boats have had training in swimming and boat operations.