Message from the President
On behalf of the entire Executive Committee of the South Carolina State Association of Fire Chiefs, welcome to our website. We hope that you will visit often as a conduit to keep you, our members, informed of events and opportunities throughout the year. For the past 80 years, this Association has worked to be a means of improving our state fire service through leadership education and cooperation with other fire service associations throughout South Carolina. This is only possibly when we all actively engage in the process. I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities that our Association has to offer.
If I can be of any assistance to you, or your department, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
Working together for a common good,
Chief Billy Gibson
President, SC State Association of Fire Chiefs
SC State Association of Fire Chiefs
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To provide volunteer and career fire service managers, both public and private, throughout the State of South Carolina, with information, education, services and representation to advance their professionalism and capabilities.
Bulletin Board & Articles
Anderson County Fire Protection Commission, Anderson SC
Description: Under limited supervision, performs technical and administrative work in the assigned areas of the Fire Marshal’s Office. The Fire Marshal performs activities in fire prevention, public fire safety education, fire safety inspection, and building and fire code compliance for both new and existing structures in the jurisdiction. Performs acceptance testing of Fire Detection/Suppression Systems in new and existing occupancies. Promotes fire prevention and public education to citizens and assists volunteer fire stations with public education events. Assists local fire stations with issues related to fire codes and alarm and suppression systems.
Qualifications: Desired education is a high school diploma or equivalency, supplemented by two years or more of experience in firefighting, construction, engineering, or inspections; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Preferred candidate will possess firefighter certifications and have experience with fire prevention, code enforcement, inspections. Candidate must be proficient with computers and data entry and have strong organizational skills. ICC certifications related to position description such as Fire Inspector 1, 2 and plans examiner are desired but may be provided by employer. Must possess a valid South Carolina driver's license with a good driving record. Candidate must be able to pass a criminal background check.
Salary: Dependent on qualifications
Interested candidates can pick up applications or submit resumes at Anderson County Fire Department Headquarters at 210 McGee Road Anderson S.C. 29625 Applications and Resumes must be received by February 20, 2024 at 5:00 PM.
For further information contact Chief Jimmy Sutherland or Asst. Chief Brian Moon at 864-260-4016 for more information.
Chief of Fire Rescue - Hall County, Georgia
Hall County, Georgia is accepting applications for the next Chief of Fire Rescue. If there is such a thing as the perfect place to make a living and raise a family, Gainesville-Hall County ranks high on the list. Bordered by Lake Sidney Lanier and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the sheer beauty of the landscape inspires families to grow and thrive. Lake Lanier attracts over 10 million visitors annually to enjoy boating, fishing, water sports, and parks along the 400 miles of shoreline. Hall County, with a population of over 200,000 and an area of 393 square miles, is the epicenter of a diversified economic base in Northeast Georgia that provides shopping, medical, financial, and educational institutions that are second to none. The labor market is stable and thriving with a regional labor market estimated to be 775,000 from Hall and surrounding counties. Gainesville, the county seat, is a bustling city of more than 41,000 people. Located 50 miles northeast of Atlanta and 35 miles northwest of Athens, Gainesville is the trade, medical, educational, industrial, retail, cultural and recreational center of Northeast Georgia. Eight other municipalities are located in Hall County: Oakwood, Flowery Branch, Buford, Braselton, Clermont, Gillsville, Rest Haven, and Lula. Hall County has excellent educational opportunities from pre-kindergarten to college. Gainesville-Hall County offers students educational opportunities of the highest caliber. There are two public school systems, several private schools, a public university, private university and technical college. Eight major universities are located within an hour’s drive of Gainesville-Hall County. Hall County operates as a Commission/Administrator form of government governed by a five-member elected Board of Commissioners. The County has a history of being a stable local government and being supportive of professional management. The Board appoints a County Administrator who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the government, including appointment of all Department Directors not appointed directly by the Elected Officials. The Fire Chief is appointed by the County Administrator and serves as a key member of the County Administrator’s management team.
Find out details about the position by reviewing the recruitment brochure at www.mercergroupassociates.com
The ideal candidate will provide service to the Hall County Fire Rescue Department that has 394 full-time positions providing fire services primarily to the unincorporated areas of Hall County, including all municipalities with the exception of Gainesville, and EMS to all citizens of the County. Last year, the Department responded to approximately 500 fire calls, 24,000 EMS calls, and 7,800 miscellaneous service calls. The Department operates from 16 stations (17th under construction) with 16 fire pumpers, 2 aerial apparatus, one heavy rescue vehicle, 1 hazardous materials response vehicle, 1 marine rescue vessel, 1 water tender, and 16 ambulances. The operating budget is $56.2M and the department has maintained an ISO rating of Class 2X since 2018. The ideal candidate will be a dedicated and ethical team player who can quickly gain the confidence of the community, department staff, elected officials, and business owners. The Chief must possess the ability to build community trust through the development of partnerships with stakeholders. Hall County seeks a Chief of Fire Rescue of high integrity and moral character who is a strategic thinker, collaborative leader, team player and leads by example. The new Chief must be focused on continuing to develop a committed professional departmental workforce. As a key member of the County’s leadership team, the successful candidate will be expected to articulate a vision of excellence, establish credibility and consistency in delivery of services, motivate staff to embrace cultural diversity, implement data driven solutions to problems, and communicate effectively across all platforms.
Minimum qualifications for the Fire Chief include:
- Bachelor's Degree required in Fire Sciences, Public Administration, EMS Administration/Management, Business Administration or related degree from an accredited university. A master’s degree is preferred.
- A minimum of seven years of executive management experience at the Battalion level or above in a fire department with similar complexity to Hall County is expected.
- Evidence of continued professional development such as the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program designation as Chief Fire Officer/Executive Fire Officer, the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) designation as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and completion of upper-level NIMS ICS training are positive indicators of dedication to the profession and will be noted during the candidate vetting process.
Compensation & Benefits include:
The starting salary for this position DOQ (depending on qualifications) and is expected to be in the range of $160,000—$175,000 with a very comprehensive benefits package including: A comprehensive benefits package includes: Health, dental and vision insurance, 457 Deferred Comp and 401(a) Retirement Plans, Paid Time Off, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability, as well as a comprehensive wellness program and family health center. Relocation assistance is negotiable.
How to Apply:
Interested candidates must submit by email a cover letter, resume, at least five job related references (with email and phone numbers), as well as salary history no later than close of business on February 26, 2024 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please direct any questions to Lisa Ward, Senior Associate, Mercer Group Associates, at email@example.com or 706-983-9326 or Alan Reddish, Senior Associate, Mercer Group Associates, Cell: 706-614-4961.
The Economy and Fire Apparatus
The current economy is having a ripple effect on all aspects of our lives, including the fire service with the fire apparatus industry. In the past, manufacturers were able to project cost and availability of components and vehicle chassis up to 24 months in advance. However, the current economic climate has made it difficult to even project 6 months in advance. The volatile economy, along with record inflation rates, has led to increased transportation costs, as well as fluctuating prices for raw materials and components. As a result, manufacturers are faced with the challenge of predicting future costs and to plan production accordingly. In addition, the current economy has led to a shortage of human capital. With more people opting for job stability, there are fewer workers with the skills and experience necessary to excel in the fire apparatus industry.
“To no surprise, the pandemic has been unfavorable to this area of the business, but it is our mission to secure supply to meet the demands of our Production and Aftermarket Partners.” said Kristina Spang, Vice President, Aftermarket Product & Support at Pierce Manufacturing. “In this relentless pursuit for supply, we are constantly battling capacity, delivery, and of course cost.”
As with all markets, the fire apparatus industry is facing significant challenges in the areas of human capital, supply chain, and carrier reliability. These challenges are having a negative impact on the economy and the future cost of fire apparatus.
The biggest challenge in human capital is the shortage of qualified workers. This shortage is exacerbated by the fact that many of the workers who are qualified to work in this field are nearing retirement age. There is a need for more young people to enter the field and receive the training necessary to replace those who are retiring. This shortage of workers has forced manufacturers to reassess manufacturing needs and consider options such as robotics, increased automation and potentially a more focused product offering.
The supply chain for fire apparatus components also represents a major challenge. The cost of transportation has increased significantly in recent years, making it more difficult for manufacturers to get components to where they need to go. Additionally, many components are only available from a limited number of suppliers, which can lead to situations where manufacturers are forced to pay higher prices for components. The two most impactful areas of supply chain are on vehicle chassis and electronic components. Since there are a limited number of OEM manufacturers for chassis, this has become a challenge to get the chassis as well as long term production planning for future orders.
Carrier reliability is a third factor affecting the fire apparatus industry. Carrier reliability refers to the ability of companies that transporting the chassis to the manufacturers for assembly, as well as the transport and delivery of completed fire apparatus on time and in good condition. Unfortunately, many carriers have been unable to meet minimum acceptable standards in recent years, which has led to delays and order cancellations.
To add insult to injury in this process, the Request for Proposal (RFP) formal purchasing process for apparatus can often be a lengthy and complicated one, full of red tape and delays. It can add an average of 240 days to the purchasing process, which ultimately extends the delivery time even further. This can often lead to changes in prices and other terms, which can cause delays and frustration for both the municipality and the fire apparatus manufacturer. However, it is important to remember that the RFP process is designed to ensure that the municipality gets the best possible value for their limited public funds. In the end, it is important to be patient and allow the process to run its course.
Cooperative purchasing, also known as piggy backing, utilizes cooperative agreements between two or more government entities for the procurement of goods and services in an efficient and effective manner. Cooperative contracts are typically established by lead public agencies who select vendors through a competitive solicitation process.
"We're in a time of great economic pressure," said Mike Duyck, CEO at Hughes Fire Equipment. "Fire Departments are under pressure to serve rapidly growing communities. Making sure they have the infrastructure in place at the right time, given the supply chain lead time challenges, has become even more difficult. Knowing the right steps to take and leverage the tools available like cooperative purchasing can make future growth forecasts align with capital purchase and apparatus replacement schedules."
In summary, cooperative contracts provide a streamlined procurement process for municipalities to purchase goods and services while still getting the best value for their taxpayers. They also typically shorten the time it takes to place an order, as well as provide more favorable terms and conditions with the manufacturer based on a consortiums total member purchase volume flowing through the contract. With the uncertainty of today economy and inflation, these agreements bring stability and support to its users in their purchasing process. For these reasons, cooperative purchasing is an attractive option for municipalities looking to save time and money on their next purchase.
By: Bill DeMars “Executive Director” NPPGov