At the Whitefield Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Christmas Dinner and Awards Banquet, Columbia Fire Department Assistant Chief Jamie Helms and Captain Kevin King presented certificates of appreciation to the Whitefield Fire Department and each firefighter that responded to assist with the Tanker Task Force during Flood Joaquin in October.
Whitefield Volunteer Fire Department crews initially responded Sunday, October 4 with 15 other tankers from across the state to support a tanker task force as part of South Carolina’s Firefighter Mobilization Plan, after severe flooding left the city without a continuous water supply. They arrived in Columbia at 10:00 pm and immediately began work to supply water to a downtown hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center, preventing it from being evacuated. For 16 continuous hours, Whitefield’s tanker alone shuttled over 34,000 gallons of water to support the operation.
Upon return to the staging area, Whitefield’s tanker was assigned to provide water supply support to Columbia Engine 11. Whitefield’s volunteer firefighters stepped up and volunteered to take time from their work and families to commit to 48 hour shifts for seven additional days to support the tanker task force operation.
Pictured from left to right… Firefighter Sam Biggs, Lieutenant Chase Rapien, Safety Officer Bob Mosley, Columbia FD Captain Kevin King, Columbia FD Assistant Chief Jamie Helms, West Pelzer FD Chief David Huff, Firefighter Brad Guin, Chief Adam Cromer and Firefighter Daniel Freeman. Not pictured are Captain Michael Ryan and Firefighter Jordan Latimer.