Colleton County Fire-Rescue


Fire Chief Timothy Stevenson from the Whitesville Fire Department in Berkeley County conducted a safety and training seminar at Station # 19 during the monthly Countywide Drill Training session, Thursday 28-May. Chief Stevenson conveyed the importance of firefighter training and following established standards and departmental directives. In 2003, several Berkeley County departments participated in a live burn. While the agencies followed many of the NFPA Standards related to those exercises, an experienced officer became trapped in the structure, resulting in the firefighter being severely burned. He was airlifted to a burn center in August where he spent nearly two weeks and then had several years of recovery. The injured firefighter, Tom Jurgensmeyer, who has recovered and returned to work, was also in attendance.

The presentation was not your normal “feel good”, “you should come to training classes” type of presentation. This rather frank discussion was very emotional at times and included the actual incident which was videotaped during the live burn. Portions included the footage when the firefighter was trapped and his screams as he was burning served to drive home the message. Sixty people from

Colleton County Fire-Rescue, St. George Fire Department, Ashley River Fire Department and several people from Berkeley County were in attendance. It was an outstanding presentation and no one left without a new view of training exercise.