Our Founding

The South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association’s journey began in 1905 when the Charleston Fire Department Assistant Chief Louis Behrens organized a meeting to form the South Carolina State Firemen’s Association. Since its formation, the Association has been at the forefront of firefighter advocacy, particularly with the passing of the Firemen’s Fund Bill in 1910. The same bill is still in effect but is now commonly referred to as the One Percent Fund. This funding allows for South Carolina fire departments to operate and for the Association to continue to advocate for firefighter safety, education, training, and benefits.

Living History

Fast forward to current day, and the Association has its very own historian who is collecting the history of the state’s fire service, one department at a time. Carter Jones, retired Chief of the Clarendon County Fire/Rescue Department and Past President of the Association, spends his days on the road, talking to firefighters, chiefs, members of the community and historians, constantly discovering untold or unwritten stories. His findings have led to the creation of the South Carolina State Fire Heritage Center & Museum, housed in the Association’s office in Columbia. Carter’s work on the museum has earned recognition from the South Carolina Federation of Museums.

Purchase Carter’s book, A Legacy That Lives On, that details the Association’s first 100 plus years of service to South Carolina’s firefighters.



The South Carolina State Fire Heritage Center & Museum is a proud member of the SC Federation of Museums, National Fire Heritage Center, and Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America.

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