LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) – Versatility is vital to being a firefighter in the City of Laurens.
The staff is made up of 30 firefighters. Thirteen are with the department full time, and the others are all volunteers.
They do much more than just answer an average of 900 emergency calls each year. Laurens firefighters also serve as fire inspectors for the city. They conduct fire inspections and review pre-fire plans on around 800 buildings each year. They’re also responsible for some of the maintenance on the city’s approximately 700 fire hydrants.
“They pretty much have to do it all,” Laurens Fire Chief Bill Hughes said. He’s been with the department for 37 years and has served as chief for two decades.
Despite the added duties that many larger departments don’t have to encounter, the Laurens Fire Department maintains a Class One ISO Rating.
The department was founded in 1884. It covers roughly 11 square miles within the city limits. It also has agreements to work in conjunction with Laurens County first responders.
The jack-of-all-trades aspect of being a Laurens firefighter extends to the city’s two fire stations. Chief Hughes said firefighters aided in the construction of both stations in 2007 and 2008.