Statement from Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins and information on Durham Alexander DeLaura while serving at the Columbia Fire Department.
Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins stated, “The CFD Family continues to offer our thoughts and prayers to Durham’s family and friends. He was a very talented Firefighter who developed many skills during his nearly ten years serving with Department and I along with the entire Columbia Fire Department continue to focus on the recovery efforts.” Chief Jenkins continued to state, “I would like to thank the many agencies that have taken part in the rescue and recovery efforts, especially the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Lexington County and Newberry County Sheriff’s Department and the Lexington County Fire Service.”
Durham Alexander DeLaura was hired by the Columbia Fire Department on December 2, 2006 and resigned in good standing with the Department on June 11, 2016 at the rank of Engineer. Engineer DeLaura served honorably with the Columbia Fire Department and worked at serval stations during his career to include Sandhill Station 24, North Main Station 7, and Dentsville Station 14; but served most of his nearly ten year career at Headquarters Station 1 on Rescue 1.
Engineer Durham Alexander DeLaura while serving with the Columbia Fire Department received several awards for his lifesaving actions during Flood Joaquin.
- Engineer DeLaura was awarded with the Medal of Valor after he three other CFD Firefighters shallow water crossed, swam through flooded waters and searched 50 yards in the woods in the dark to locate a victim in a flooded creek.
- Engineer DeLaura was awarded with the Medal of Bravery after he and another CFD Firefighter with assistance from several other CFD Firefighters conducted multiple Swiftwater rescues from atop and inside vehicles and from the flooded tree lines at Decker Boulevard and O’Neil Court.
- Engineer DeLaura was awarded with a Unit Citation after he and other CFD Firefighters rescued seven victims from flood waters in the area of Garners Ferry Road and Greenlawn Drive.
- Engineer DeLaura was also awarded along with multiple members of the Columbia Fire Department; the Outside Agency Award for receiving an award from the Palmetto Health Hospitals for keeping the three hospital’s water supply operational which allowed them to remain open and to function during their operations.
- Engineer DeLaura received a second Outside Agency Award for receiving the internationally recognized Higgins & Langley Memorial Award for Swift Water Rescue which was awarded to the Columbia Fire Department specifically for its actions during Flood Joaquin.
- Engineer DeLaura along with each member of the Columbia Fire Department during Flood Joaquin received a Flood Joaquin Campaign Ribbon from the Columbia Fire Department.