Charleston Fire Department prepares for reinvention

Chief Thomas Carr has a vision for the fire department

By: Natalie

Charleston, SC- Charleston's Fire Department is getting ready to reinvent itself. Chief Thomas Carr is heading up a reorganization that lays the groundwork for the future of the department.

It's part of a ten year plan that will be put in place, providing guidelines for training, maintenance, and equipment. The "Strategic 10-year plan" is part of the recommendations made by the city's consultants, hired after the Sofa Super Store fire, known as the 'Routley Team.'

"It's a master document. It really encompasses everything, the people, the training, the equipment, the apparatus," Carr said.

Chief Carr says right now he and command staff members are working on the plan, as well as an outside group, funded by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Carr hopes the plan will be presented publicly in the next six months.

He says he expects there to be challenges in implementing the changes.

"I think its accepting more change. We had tons of changes and its hard on the folks. Its emotional, its stressful," Carr said. "Its tough stuff, how much can we push?"

Carr says he hopes all his firefighters will be trained to National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) standards. He also hopes to incorporate EMT training.

"There's no reason we cant be there," Carr said.{}

Once in place, the plan will also set annual goals for the fire department. The public will get a chance to comment on the document in the next few months.




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