fire department
JOB OPENINGS

City Departments

fire department patch

 

The City of West Columbia Fire Department is a career, urban fire department that is ready to respond to emergency calls 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The WCFD provides fire protection to the City’s 18,000 citizens in its 6.3 square miles and has automatic /mutual aid agreements with each of its surrounding municipal fire departments (Columbia Fire Department, Cayce Public Safety and Lexington County Fire Service). In addition to fire suppression, the WCFD also provides a variety of operation-technician level rescue service, EMR medical care, and swift water rescue response to the Lower Saluda and Congaree Rivers which run between downtown Columbia and the City of West Columbia.

At any hour of the day, West Columbia firefighters can be seen outside of the fire station cleaning and maintaining the City’s investments in emergency apparatus, conducting training exercises, assisting citizens and/or visitors, performing preplans, conducting public fire education classes, or a number of other activities that enhance public safety.


fire3

WCFD Structure:

Chief

Battalion Chief of Operations

Fire Marshal

3 Captains

3 Lieutenants

3 Engineer I

3 Firefighter III

9 Firefighter II

The West Columbia Fire Department currently operates out of a single fire station. Daily staffing for the WCFD is:

Engine 2 (4 Personnel per Shift) 2010 Pierce Saber/Contender

 

Contender

Tower 2 (3 Personnel per Shift) 2007 Pierce Dash, 100’

Pierce Dash

Fire Prevention

A lot of our efforts in recent years have been geared to educating the public to prevent fires. We are doing this through a variety of ways. Speaking to civic groups, church groups, and children’s activities have been successful in reducing the number of serious fires in our area. We have a variety of classes that are provided to the public such as: puppet shows, that have been well received and present the fire safety messages in a manner that people of all ages enjoy, a smoke detector program, in which we place smoke detectors, at no charge, in the homes of people that otherwise would not be able to obtain them, and fire extinguisher classes. The smoke detector program is funded through the sale of the blue address signs that are visible throughout the city.

fire1

History

The West Columbia Fire Department is possibly the oldest department in the city. It was first formed around the turn of the 20th century. According to Henry Anderson, Fire Chief from 1966 to 1975 and a volunteer for many years before becoming chief, the first fire station was located at the intersection of Norfolk Street and a back alley behind Mr. Red Peake’s house. The station consisted of a human-pulled hand pump. Fire equipment was moved to new quarters in 1908 when the City built a new building in the 400 block of Center Street that also housed City Hall. The Police Department and jail were later located in a building next door. As with most small towns during this time, the firefighters were all volunteers. They were alerted to a fire by use of sirens mounted on buildings or utility poles throughout the city. When the sirens sounded, the men would leave their homes and/or jobs, go to the fire station to get the truck, (often having to push it up the hill and let it roll back to get it started), and then respond. Since the vast majority of the early residents worked at Mt. Vernon Mills, an alarm was mounted at the mill to alert workers. In 1960, the city built a new city complex that housed City Hall, the Police Department, and the Fire Department. At this time, volunteers still comprised the firefighting force. In 1964, City Council employed the first full time firefighters. Volunteer firefighters were still used to supplement the full time forces and the sirens were still used to alert volunteers and off-duty full time employees. This notification method eventually changed to a paging system operated by the department. In 1979, the department moved into its current location. The station on Center Street was designed to hold four pieces of apparatus, but was packed with six. The new station was designed to hold all of the current equipment with room for growth. In 1980, the city moved from a combination department to a total career department with the hiring of six full-time personnel, bringing the staff to a total of twenty-one. Staffing now consists of twenty-four people.

fire2