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Fire Department Spotlight: Goose Creek Rural Fire Department

Department Name 

Goose Creek Rural Fire Department

Department County 

Berkeley

Year Established

1959

Department Type 

 

Combination

Demographics and Population Served 

18,000

What type of services are offered by the department? 

Fire Response

First-Responder Response

 

Fire Chief 

Robert H. Maibach

Number of Officers 

17

Number of Firefighters 

32

Number of Stations 

2

Average Annual Call Volume 

1226

Is there anything unique about the department?

We are an independent contractor serving the residents of unincorporated Goose Creek and Berkeley County.

SC FIRE SERVICE Leadership Spotlight: William "Billy" Dillon (Howe Springs Fire Rescue)

Rank

Fire Chief

Fire Department

Howe Springs Fire Rescue

County

Florence

Department Type

Combination

Fire Service Experience

I started my career in 1993 when I joined the Hannah-Salem-Friendfeild Fire Department. I went to work with Florence City Fire Department in 1999 and transitioned to Florence County EMS in 2004 to obtain my Paramedic Certification. After becoming a Reserve Deputy, I served from 2006 until 2013 as a tactical medic for the Florence County’s SWAT team. In 2010 I excepted a position with Windy Hill Fire Rescue as their Fire Inspector. I have been serving as Fire Chief for Howe Springs Fire Rescue since 2013. I have served on the Pee Dee IMT since its development in 2006. I currently serve on the SC State Association of Fire Chiefs Peer Support Team, the President of the Pee Dee Firefighter’s Association, and the President of the Florence County Fire Chief’s Association. In 2019 was appointed as to Chair the Training and Education Committee.

What originally drew you to the fire service?

I honestly never had any interest growing up but when I graduated high school I wanted to do something for my community. I had just pulled into a fire station one day and asked how I could get help. I've never regretted that decision.

What drives you to continue in the fire/emergency services?

There is still so much work to be done locally, on the State level, and Nationally. Our brothers and sisters in the Fire Service needs strong voices advocating for them more than ever. I hope to be one of those strong voices for our firefighters and our communities. Plus, I still really enjoy the job.

As you progressed through the ranks, what hurdles/challenges have you faced?

The only hurdles I faced coming up through the ranks were working for a few incompetent leaders. I think this really helped me to better prepare myself for a leadership position. I learned from their mistakes and I also had some great mentors that helped mold me into the Chief I am today.

If you could give any advice to young/new officers, what would you tell them?

I would tell them to train hard. To never be threatened by what others are doing but to only be threatened on what you are not capable of doing. Help the weak ones on your crew and support your leaders when you can. Get involved with making decisions in the Fire Service at all levels as soon as possible. The best way to test the water as a New Officer is to jump in head first.

What are some personal highlights of your career?

My proudest highlight is being married to my wife Jennifer for nearly 25 years and my two amazing sons, Matthew and Luke. In 2006 I was honored to receive the SCSFA's Jeffrey V. Chavis Medal of Valor. In 2017, I was able to lead efforts to build a ADA compliant home for a Firefighter/Medic who lost her leg in an ambulance crash. I was excepted in the U.S Fire Administrations Executive Fire Officer Program in 2017. And working with the great men and women of Howe Springs Fire Rescue has definitely been a great highlight of my career.

Are there any department spotlights you would like to share? 

Howe Springs Fire Rescue is truly an amazing organization. As one of the largest and busiest departments in Florence County, we have been able to continue to provide a quality service with only having a paid administrative staff. Our volunteers work hard and are dedicated. The department has established a Technical Rescue Team with a Water Rescue Division. And this year we implemented a Highway Safety Unit to help assist with dangerous highway conditions on emergency scenes.