Department Name: Spartanburg Fire Department
Type Department: Career
Number of Stations: 5
Number of Apparatus: Pumpers: 6 Aerials: 2 Specialty: 1
Do you provide EMS? No
Specialty Operations: (list all) high and low angle, confined space, swift water, trench, and structural collapse. We also run a hazmat engine in support of the County Hazmat Team with a minimum of 2 technicians on duty.
Annual Budget: 6,345,976
Area Covered Square miles: 19.2
Total Runs: Fire: 2800, EMS: 0
Chief: Dr. Marion F. Blackwell, Jr.
- Brad Hall, Asst. Chief of Operations
- Phil Starck, Asst. Chief of Admin
- Doug Lea, Battalion Chief
- Jamie Pruitt, Battalion Chief
- Jeremy Morgan, Battalion Chief
- Will Smart, Division Chief/Fire Marshal
- Brad Bennett, Division Chief of Training
Other Officers: 6 captains, 12 lieutenants
Number of Members: 78 Paid: 78 Volunteer:
Address: 151 S. Spring St. Spartanburg, SC 29306
Community Outreach: Our motto is “Preservation Through Prevention”. We have many programs to reach out to our citizens, including: smoke and CO alarm program, fire extinguisher prop/training, fire safety house, senior fire safety, juvenile fire setter program, and station tours. During Fire Prevention Week, we visit every third grade classroom in the city with our safety house along with a large open house at the end of the week. Our last open house broke over 800 attendees in three hours.
Top Two concerns in your community: As with every fire department in the county, COVID and finances impact the entire community. Our city and fire department reflect a microcosm of the community in dealing with these issues, from staffing to budgeting.
What are you doing for fundraising? As a municipality, we do not fundraise for any operational needs.
What upgrades will you make in your department this year?
We will see the up fit of our new main station. Presently, administrative staff have moved to an existing building and architectural design is ongoing to covert the remainder of the building into a fire station. This will provide a maintenance facility, dedicated training area, a large 80+ seat training room, individual bedrooms, office space, and storage space and will replace an over 60-year-old building. In addition, we are slated to replace an engine and our battalion vehicle.
What special hazards or unique businesses in your community?
We have a broad array of businesses, from a 17 story high-rise to a large level 1 trauma center to a shopping mall to a downtown business district. We have a large high school, Wofford and Converse Colleges, a chemical manufacturer, many rail lines, and an explosion of multifamily dwelling construction not seen in decades. As the county seat, we have city and county government offices, a jail annex, and a soon to be built seven-story judicial center. In short, we have a little of everything.
What problems in your department that you would like feedback from others?
Recruitment and retention of firefighters is an ongoing issue, particularly for underrepresented demographics in our community. Any programs or success stories you may have is greatly appreciated.
What makes you special?
We are proud to be both a Class 1 ISO department and accredited through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Our Training Division has gained some notoriety and has been asked to help other departments out with ideas. We have gotten a lot of help from other departments, but it is rewarding to help others as well. Our firefighters have been very active in designing custom PPE, testing and selecting a hose and nozzle package, and designing our next generation engines. Having input from all levels of the organization on items that affect ground level operations is very important to our department.
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Dr. Marion F. Blackwell, Jr.