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New Year Brings New Fire Service Agreement Between Columbia-Richland FD, Lexington County FS

Joint Fire Crews
Thu, 04/06/2023

Residents in Chapin, White Rock, Seven Oaks and other areas that boarder I-26 in parts of Richland and Lexington County will be able to count on even greater efficiency in their fire protection coverage as the new year begins. Elected officials for the City of Columbia, Richland County and Lexington County have endorsed a new Automatic Aid Agreement between the Columbia-Richland Fire Department and the Lexington County Fire Service. Adopted in late November, the new agreement will facilitate the automatic response of fire crews from both agencies to any emergencies that may occur in communities bordering their jurisdictions. Such incidents include possible fires, motor vehicle collisions, patient rescues and threats to lives and properties brought on by natural disasters.

“With this new agreement in place our hope is that residents of these communities can have greater peace of mind knowing that they have two exemplary fire departments watching over them,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “Our department has always had a fantastic relationship working with the men and women of the Lexington County Fire Service. I look forward to many more years of our firefighters responding together to major emergencies and collaborating together to aid our citizens when they need us the most.”

“The Lexington County Fire Service is excited to enter into this new collaboration alongside the Columbia-Richland Fire Department,” said LCFS Fire Chief Mark Davis, “Both of our agencies constantly strive to provide the best services to our communities. This partnership reflects the excellent working relationships between our agencies and the shared desire to help those in need by providing the closest resources possible.”

Areas in Lexington County covered under the new agreement include neighborhoods surrounding the Lake Murray Dam and extending southJoint Area Map along the Saluda River. Communities surrounding Chapin will also benefit. Richland County communities that will be aided include ones that fall between I-26 and the Broad River as well as ones in White Rock. Both departments will still be able to request support from each other if a major emergency occurs in areas not covered by the new agreement. That support will come through a mutual aid agreement that already exists between the two agencies. In all cases under the new auto aid agreement a department’s ability to respond to the neighboring territory will all depend on if they have resources available. Both CRFD and Lexington County Fire Service will give priority to their primary service areas at all times. As of 2022 both Richland and Lexington counties continue to be in the top ten list for South Carolina counties regarding overall population. A grand total of more than 700,000 state residents reside in the two counties.