North Charleston Fire Department works to improve response time

Local News

North Charleston, SC (WCBD) – The 2018 Annual Report from the North Charleston Fire Department shows that the number of fires has gone down, but their response time has gone up.

Chief Greg Bulanow, North Charleston Fire Department, says that traffic is partly to blame.

He says, “One reason that we think our first units are slightly slower is because of increased traffic and congestion throughout the Lowcountry. We are all experiencing and seeing that. The other thing is that we are working with our dispatch center to increase staffing there, so that they can process the calls more quickly and get us the emergency information faster, so that we can then respond faster to the emergency.”

The number of structure fires in North Charleston have been on a downward spiral for a number of years. The department says that the decrease in fires is a direct result of fire inspectors correcting code violations in commercial properties and their presence in school and senior centers teaching fire safety.

Chief Greg Bulanow says, “We think that fires have gone down in our city do to a variety of factors. One is that our fire inspectors can correct code violations and work with our property owners to prevent fires in commercial properties. We also work very hard to provide fire safety education. We focus those efforts on two high-risk groups– children and senior citizens.

To keep the community safe, the report also mentions wanting to expand automatic aid for this year.

Chief Greg Bulanow says, “Automatic Aid means that the closest units respond to fire emergencies regardless of jurisdiction. So, if Charleston Fire Department unit happens to be closer to an emergency in an area where our cities border each other, then they would respond, and we would respond with them.”

The North Charleston Fire Department has free smoke alarms available if you need one. You must call main headquarters number and submit a request.

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