Colleton Co. Fire-Rescue sees record-breaking year of calls for service

Fire officials in Colleton County say they received more calls for service in 2022 than ever before.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 3:22 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:25 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Fire officials in Colleton County say they received more calls for service in 2022 than ever before.

Colleton County Fire-Rescue had over 10,000 calls for service last year, which is 800 more than 2021, according to the department’s 2022 statistical report.

The 2021 Census found that 38,000 people live in Colleton County. Colleton County Fire-Rescue Captain K.C. Campbell says this is a high number for the rural area.

“It is a big number for our system based on our staffing,” Campbell said.

The fire-rescue team has 103 full-time and part-time staff and 120 volunteers. They run nine ambulances 365 days a year and run one extra ambulance in Edisto Beach for six months out of the year.

Campbell said structure fires increased significantly, and medical calls are also increasing. He said the biggest thing they see is unattended cooking fires.

Fourteen civilians suffered injuries and three of those fires were fatal.

“That is why it is also very important to have these smoke alarms. If you have mobility issues and you’re not able to get out within the two-minute time frame, two-to-three-minute timeframe, you should consider getting a residential sprinkler system and/ or a monitored alarm,” Campbell said.

Through funding from Colleton County Council, fire-rescue was able to ramp up their fire prevention program and installation of free smoke alarms. Statistics show that Fire-Rescue installed 646 smoke detectors in 2022.

If you’re a Colleton County resident in need of smoke alarms, you can call 843-539-1960 for free installation.

Colleton County Fire-Rescue also relies heavily on volunteers. If you’re interested in becoming one, you can click here.