H. Dixon Odom
The Administrative staff of the department is responsible for the overall operation of both the Technical and Emergency Services. This section includes the Chief of the Department and Administrative Staff. Department policy, employee hiring and long range planning are controlled under the Chief's direction.
Downtown Station: Dedicated in 1973
501 E. Main St.
(843) 479-9001 Ext.321
Northside Station: Dedicated in 1993
718 Oakwood St.
Visit the Fire Department Site at www.bennettsvillefire.org
Fire inspections, personnel training, communications and public education are all responsibilities of the Technical Services. Commercial fire code enforcement and plan reviews are performed by seven certified Fire Marshals. Fire training of all personnel are under the direction of the Department's Training Officer.
The department's public education has implemented citywide programs that have increased public awareness and reduced the loss of life due to fire. There are two on staff who are responsible for fire education in our schools for thousands of students.
LP Gas Training
The personnel for the Emergency Services are made up of both career and volunteer firefighters. At present we have 9 career and 27 volunteers. The career firefighters are responsible for manning both stations and respond with the apparatus to all alarms. The volunteers respond to alarms that call for additional firefighting and personnel needs.
A professional level of training is maintained by all the firefighters. All of the firefighters are qualified by the South Carolina Fire Academy and a large number of our firefighters are certified First Responders and EMT. We also have our firefighters trained in Hazardous Materials who are either certified at the Awareness level or Technician level. They are also trained to respond to a wide range of specialized rescue situations that include confined space, underwater dive recovery and extrication.
The Dive Team consists of 13 members. 7 members are PDIC certified and 6 members are PADI certified. They are well equipped, with the most updated equipment including underwater communications capability. This is something that very few Dive Teams in the State have. They are well trained in rescue, recovery and crime scene diving. They also have Dry Suits for Cold Weather diving.
They are available to all local and state agencies including EMS, Law Enforcement, and Fire Departments.
They have assisted the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, SLED and the Anson County Sheriff Office in N.C..
This program is designed to introduce the explorer to the fire service. This program will hopefully train and educate the explorer to pursue a career as either a volunteer or career firefighter.
Goal The ultimate goal of this program is to have the explorer become a firefighter once they become 18 and be an effective citizen.