Dec 17, 2013 – At Approximately 11:30pm Engine 320 and Beaufort County EMS were dispatched to Buck Island Road for a reported overturned tractor Trailer with entrapment. Due to the initial report of entrapment, Truck 375, Engine 325, and Battalion 4 were put on the call. Engine 320 arrived on scene and reported a cargo truck on its side with the driver pinned in the cab. After further patient assessment 320 reported that the driver was not injured but was pinned and unable to get out. It took crews approximately 15 minutes to extricate the driver who then refused treatment. All units were cleared and Engine 320 remained on scene until the vehicle up righted and removed.
Rose Hill Chimney Fire
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November 15, 2013 – At approximately 8:30 a.m. the Bluffton Township Fire District was dispatched to report of a structure fire. The home owner stated they could smell smoke in the residence and their smoke detectors were going off. Truck 375 arrived on scene and reported visible smoke from an unknown area. Truck 375’s crew did an external search and discovered fire around the top of the chimney. Minimal damage was created while extinguishing the fire. Companies were on scene for approximately an hour. Units on scene – Engine 325, 320, 324, Truck 375, Service 365, Battalion 2, and Beaufort County EMS.
MVA on Sawmill Creek
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November 2, 2013 – At approximately 2:45am, Engine 320 and Beaufort County EMS, were dispatched to Sawmill Creek Road for a reported motor vehicle accident. Engine 320 arrived on scene and reported one vehicle overturned with the driver ejected. The crew from Engine 320 and EMS stabilized the patient and prepared for transport. Due to the inclement weather the patient was unable to be air lifted and was transported by ground to Savannah Memorial. The accident is being investigated by Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
Garage Fire on Cardinal Lane
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November 1, 2013 – At Approximately 8:45am, the Bluffton Township Fire District was dispatched to 14 Cardinal Lane for a reported shed fire. Engine 322 arrived on scene and reported a fully involved detached garage with an exposure to an adjacent structure. The crew from Engine 322 was able to put a quick knock down on the fire and cool down the adjacent residence. Engine 324 arrived on scene, dropped a supply line and made entry into the residence to check for extension with no extension found. All companies on scene assisted with overhaul and mop up. Due to the amount of damage to the garage, it took approximately one hour to fully extinguish the all of the hot spots.
Units on scene – Engine 322, 324, 325, Truck 375, Service 365, Battalion 6, and Beaufort County EMS.
The deputy fire chief will replace Barry Turner, who has led the district for six years and is retiring next month. County administrator Gary Kubic announced the promotion Thursday.
Thompson has more than 25 years of firefighting experience and began his career in 1987 with the Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division, according to a county news release.
"The Bluffton Township Fire District Board of Directors is very confident Chief Thompson will continue to provide excellent leadership to the Bluffton Fire District," district board chairman Terry Reynolds said in the release. "He has met every challenge in his current position, and I am certain that he will continue to provide the same excellent leadership to the department in the future."
Thompson has served as a firefighter, fire training officer, fire captain and battalion chief. He has completed several executive level courses at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., where he is completing the executive fire office certificate program, according to the release.
The district board unanimously approved Thompson's promotion. He will be paid a base salary of $102,000 a year, the release said.
Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/2013/10/31/2766883/john-thompson-named-new-bluffton.html#storylink=cpy
Mutual Aid in Hardeeville
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August 14, 2013 – At Approximately 6:00am, Engine 324 and Truck 375 were dispatched for mutual aid with The City of Hardeeville for a reported fire at OC Welch car dealership. Hardeeville units arrived on scene and found a vehicle on fire in the service area of the shop. The fire suppression system kept the fire in check until the Fire Department arrived. The crews from Engine 324 and Truck 375 assisted with overhaul and checking for extension in the building.
Structure Fire in Mill Creek
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August 7, 2013 – At approximately 7:11am, the Bluffton Township Fire District and Beaufort County EMS were dispatched to Blakers Boulevard, in the Mill Creek subdivision, for a reported structure fire. Initial reports from dispatch were that they had received multiple calls of the fire. Engine 321 arrived on scene and reported heavy fire and smoke showing from the structure. Engine 321 deployed hand lines to slow the extension of fire to the homes adjacent of the fully involved structure. Engine 324 arrived on scene and brought in the supply line for Engine 321. Due to the heavy involvement, a defensive attack was made on the fire and Truck 375 was used for an elevated master stream. The fire was brought under control in approximately 45 minutes. Crews remained on scene for several hours overhauling and extinguishing hot spots. The call originated close to shift change so many personnel reported to the fire and shift change took place once the fire was brought under control.
Units on scene – Engine 321, 324, 320, 325, Truck 375, Service 365, Battalion 1, 3, Staff 302, 303, 307, Beaufort County EMS, Bluffton PD, numerous off duty personnel.
The Bluffton Township Fire District has one more tool in its arsenal to fight flames and respond to wrecks: packs of blankets and stuffed animals.
"We can have axes, and hoses and Jaws of Life, but yes, a stuffed animal and a great blanket is another tool in our toolbox to help us deal with a child," Capt. Randy Hunter said Wednesday.
The Sew What stitching and crafts club at Sun City Hilton Head presented the nine packs of blankets and stuffed animals to the fire district Wednesday at the headquarters on Fording Island Road.
"I am very excited about this," Battalion Chief Todd Harvey said. "Comfort makes a big difference with a child; it's the little stuff to get their minds off the injury or the trauma of what just happened."
Six women from the Community Project group -- an offshoot of the Sew What Club -- were at the station to present the packs. During the past two months, the group's 40 members gathered donated items and fabric from the community and the God's Goods Thrift Store at 53 Persimmon St.
Much sewing was involved, as the members specialized the blankets with different colors for boys and girls and different sizes for younger and older children.
The group made nine packs, one for each of the district's eight engine companies, plus an extra to have on hand. Each pack contains four blankets and four stuffed animals.
"This is truly a community effort, and it is our way of giving back to those who serve us," said Deb Johnson, head of the Community Project group and a board member of the Sew What Club.
Harvey isn't wasting any time putting the gift to use -- the packs will be on the trucks starting Thursday.
Johnson and Harvey hope the effort continues. Johnson said that as the packs get used, the group will provide more blankets and stuffed animals to the fire district.
"We want to continue to help," Johnson said. "We all have a soft spot in our heart for helping children, especially those who have been in something traumatic like a fire or wreck."
Johnson said the Church of the Cross' God's Goods Thrift Store has a labeled container in its store for those who want to donate.
Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/2013/07/24/2593847/sun-city-group-donates-blankets.html#storylink=cpy
Motor Vehicle Accident on Hwy 278
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April 8, 2013 – At Approximately 3:00pm, Engine 325, along with Beaufort County EMS, was dispatched to the intersection of Hwy 278 and Plantation Drive for a motor vehicle accident. Engine 325 arrived on scene, reported two vehicles with one person entrapped and requested Truck 375 to be dispatched. It took crews approximately 15 Minutes to extricate the patient. One person was air lifted to Savannah. One lane of 278 East bound was closed for the duration of the incident. The Bluffton Police Department is investigating the accident.
Units on scene – Engine 325, Truck 375, Squad 355, Battalion 3, and Engine 323 was Landing Zone Group Leader.
Bluffton Fire Crews Stay Busy with Two Structure Fires
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April 11, 2013 – The Bluffton Township Fire District was dispatched to two different structure fires. At approximately 9:30pm crews were dispatched to structure fire on Buck Island Road. Engine 320 arrived on scene and reported a fully involved vacant structure with exposure to an adjacent shed. Due to the heavy volume of fire, the companies went into a defensive attack. It took crews approximately 30 minutes to bring the fire under control and another 30 minutes to finish the overhaul on the remaining debris. The fire is being investigated by the Bluffton Township Fire Marshalls and the Bluffton Police Department.
The second fire was dispatched at approximately 2:30am off of Simonsville Road. Engine 320 (again) arrived on scene and reported a 50% involved mobile home. Engine 320 stretched lines and made an aggressive interior attack. It took approximately 20 minutes to bring the fire under control. The home was a total loss and the Red Cross was called in to assist the displaced family. The fire is being investigated by the Bluffton Township Fire Marshalls and the Bluffton Police Department. The Fire District was also assisted by Beaufort County EMS on both fires.
Units on scene for both incidents – Engine 320, 325, 323, Truck 375, Service 365, and Battalion 3.
Structure Fire on Pin Oak
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March 28, 2013– At approximately 8:30pm, the Bluffton Township Fire District was dispatched to Pin Oak St. for a reported structure fire. Engine 320 arrived on scene and reported a working fire with multiple structures involved. Engine 320 passed command to Battalion 1 and made an aggressive attack to slow the progression of the fire and protect any other exposures from involvement. Battalion 1 arrived on scene and requested an additional Engine Company to the scene and Hilton Head Island Fire and Rescue Engine 4 was requested for coverage at Station 33. Once the additional companies were able to get their hand lines in place, it didn’t take long to bring the fires under control. Crews remained on scene for several hours looking for extension, hidden fire and cooling hot spots. No injuries were reported. The fire is being invested by the BTFD Fire Marshall’s Office.
Units on scene – Engine 320, 323, 325, 324, Truck 375, Service 365, Battalion 1, 302, and 316(maintenance). Beaufort County EMS and Bluffton Police Department, also assisted on the scene.
March 14, 2013 - At approximately 5:00pm Engine 325 and Beaufort County EMS were dispatched to the intersection of Highway 278 and Buck Island Road for a motor vehicle accident with entrapment, involving a tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle. Truck 375, which just cleared up from a small kitchen fire, responded and arrived on scene immediately, confirmed the entrapment and called for the Air Ambulance. Engine 320 was dispatched to set up a Landing Zone on Highway 278. It took crews approximately 15 minutes to extricate the driver of the passenger vehicle. The patient was taken to a local trauma center by air ambulance. Highway 278 was shut down for approximately one hour. The accident is being investigated Bluffton Police Department.
Units on scene – Engine 325, 320, Truck 375, Squad 355, and Battalion 2
Mutual Aid to Hardeeville
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March 11, 2013 – At approximately 6pm Engine 324 was dispatched to the Town of Hardeeville in response to a request for mutual aid to a reported structure fire. Engine 324 arrived on scene and dropped a supply line to the Hardeeville Engine. The reported fire was contained in a con ex box that had been converted into a wood drying facility. The drying facility was full of split wood in the process of being dried, which made extinguishing the fire very difficult. Engine 324 remained on scene for approximately 20 minutes and then released by command.
Structure Fire at Eagles Point
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February 22, 2013 – At approximately 7:30 pm, the Bluffton Township Fire District was dispatched to the Eagles Point Golf Cart Storage for a reported structure fire. Battalion 3 arrived on scene and reported heavy fire conditions. Due to the amount of fire, companies went straight to a defensive attack with an elevated master stream off of Truck 375 and a master stream off of Engine 325. It took firefighters approximately 45 minutes to bring the fire under control. Hand lines with foam were used to continue with the mop up. There was great concern with runoff from the battery acid in the carts so DHEC was called in to monitor the water runoff on scene. The fire is currently under investigation by the Bluffton Township Fire Marshal and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
Units on scene – Engine 325, 324, 320, Truck 375, Service 365, Battalion 3, 301, 302, 303, and Beaufort County EMS.
Accident on Bluffton Parkway
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February 14, 2013 – The Bluffton Park way was shut down early this morning due to a motor vehicle accident. Around 2:00am, the Bluffton Township Fire District and Beaufort County EMS were dispatched to the Bluffton Parkway for a motor vehicle accident with entrapment. Units arrived on scene to find one vehicle upside down with the occupant still inside. It took rescue crews approximately 10-15 minutes to extricate the victim and package for transport. The vehicle’s occupant was transported to a Savannah Hospital by ground. The Parkway was closed for a little over an hour while crews cleaned up the scene. The Accident is being investigated by The Bluffton Police Department.
Units on scene – Engine 320, 325, Truck 375, Squad 355, and Battalion 3.
Small Fire disrupts shopping in Food lion
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February 13, 2013 – A small grease fire disrupted the evening shopping for some Food Lion workers and customers. Around 6:15pm, the Bluffton Twp Fire District was dispatched to Food Lion on Fording Island Road for a reported fire. Units arrived on scene and found that there was a small grease fire in the deli area of the store. The fire was actually put out with a fire extinguisher by a quick thinking employee. All units were returned to service quickly while one Engine Company and Truck Company remained on scene to assist Food Lion with smoke removal. Customers were allowed back in the building within 30 minutes.
January 29, 2013 - A woman's body was found inside a car that burned on the side of S.C. 46 in greater Bluffton early Tuesday.
A Honda Civic was engulfed in flames near the highway's intersection with Big Bluff Road when firefighters arrived at about 2:30 a.m., Bluffton Township Fire District Battalion Chief Todd Harvey said.
The woman's body was found in the driver's seat after the fire was extinguished, Harvey said.
Beaufort County Deputy Coroner David Ott said the woman's identity will not be released until an autopsy is performed today at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. "We're going to hold it until she has been positively identified," Ott said.
Officials do not know if the woman died as a result of the fire or before it ignited. Harvey also said they have no clues about what started the blaze.
"The car was just totally destroyed," Harvey said.
The fire district is responsible for determining the cause of the fire, Harvey said.
The car did not appear to have been involved in a wreck, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
The discovery of the woman's body occurred the day after Bluffton firefighters found a man's body inside a camper, which also was destroyed by fire, on All Joy Road. The Sheriff's Office had no updates Tuesday on the investigation of 55-year-old John Porzio's death. Harvey said the fire district, along with S.C. Law Enforcement Division investigators, have not determined the cause or origin of the fire Monday that consumed the camper, however, they do not believe it was suspicious.
Story by Allison Stice of the Island Packet
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