South Carolina Fire Station Profile: Burton Fire District

Beaufort County, SC

Department Name: Burton Fire District
County: Beaufort
Type Department: Career
Structure: Burton Fire District Grays Hill ALS Fire Station
ISO: 2/2y
Number of Stations: 5
Number of Apparatus: 6 Pumpers, 1 Aerial, 2 Specialty
Do you provide EMS? Yes, ALS 
Annual Budget: $5,665,310
Area Covered (square miles): 50
Population: 35,573
Total Runs: 2,834 (Fire: 850, EMS: 1984)

Chief: Chief Harry Rountree
Chief Officers: Deputy Chief Tom Webb, Assistant Fire Chief James Still, Battalion Chief Tony Carneavale, Battalion Chief Grabenbauer, Battalion Chief Matthew Maichel 
Other Officers: 4 Captains, 7 Lieutenants 
Number of Members: Paid: 55, Volunteer: 0
Address: 36 Burton Hill Rd, Beaufort, SC 29906
Web site:
Phone: (843) 255-8011

Community Outreach: The Burton Fire District has an active Community Risk Reduction program with a dedicated person to carry out programs, which include community CPR and an active Stop the Bleed program. We also have an Engine Company Inspection/Pre-Plan program (COVID temporary suspended) which not only increases community safety, but keeps our personnel in continuous contact with the community and familiar with building layouts. 

Top concerns in your community: We protect a large portion of rural county serving mostly middle to low-income families, as well as many citizens in the “at risk” group for fires and injury. Our county is also rapidly growing in our municipal areas, and combined with our tourism population, are increasing traffic on our roadways. Our top two concerns are increases in traffic accidents with injuries and entrapment, and structure fires.

What are you doing for fundraising? Our District has an active Firefighter Assistance Support Team which conducts various fundraisers in the community. We are also accepting donations for our JACOB Kit program. 

What upgrades will you make in your department this year? Purchasing new apparatus and station upgrades. We continue to apply for AFG Grants to replace equipment. We are also working towards implementing the new Advanced Emergency Medical Technician certification as a basic level of service, and will continue sending personnel to this upgrade training. 

What special hazards or unique businesses in your community? We protect a large rural community with high numbers of “at risk” citizens, along with limited industrial areas. Many of our commercial structures are not sprinklered and built under older fire codes. While not in our district proper, the local military air station lies right on our border, placing aircraft flight patterns directly over our district. In 2018 we responded to an F-35 crash, and in 2007 a Navy Blue Angel went down in our district. 

What problems in your department that
you would like feedback from others?

We have explored the possibility of a community paramedic program and would like some ideas from equal sized and staffed departments who have such a program, as well as information on departments who manage an engine company inspection program. Assistance with applying for an AFG grant for a mobile safety education house is very welcome. Despite our “at risk” population, a full-time community risk reduction program, our fire injury/death statistics, along with demonstrating a regional need and agreements with fire departments, we continue to be unsuccessful. 

Accomplishments in your department: 

In 2017, our department created, and recently completed, the JACOB Kit program where a bleeding control kit is placed in every classroom in every school, along with annual teacher/staff training in Stop the Bleed. Over $20,000 was raised through local partnerships and donations, along with local grants, to accomplish this goal. In 2019, our fire district and the Beaufort County School District were given the Firehouse Magazine’s Thomas Carr Community Service Award for this successful partnership.

Our fire district also maintains our own training facility, including a live burn building and auto fire and extrication props, which allows for training evolutions ranging from suppression, forcible entry and vertical ventilation, to specialized rescue. We have hosted several regional and national programs at this facility. 

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