Trending Topics

The Sofa Super Store fire: The blaze that reshaped the Charleston Fire Department

The death of the Charleston 9 brought significant organizational change

Editor’s Note: Fires resulting in line-of-duty deaths are always emotionally charged events. This fire is no different and, due to several factors, likely has more emotion tied to it. This article is not intended to place blame on any individual or their actions, but it does deal with accountability and proximate causes of the tragedy.

This article is based on information published by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the City of Charleston, as well as the published works of firefighters who were at the scene.

Charleston, South Carolina is one of America’s oldest cities and as such, is steeped in tradition and history. While organized fire protection efforts in Charleston date back to 1786, the current department was established in 1882 and is no different from the city when it comes to its long history and established traditions.

On June 18, 2007, the Charleston Fire Department (CFD) would have its traditions and practices tested in a way that would become fire service history. What began as a rubbish fire alongside a loading dock would rapidly develop into an inferno, subsequent collapse, and the loss of nine firefighters.

Tragic events such as the Sofa Super Store fire are often a result of several failures occurring both concurrently and consecutively. The factors and events leading to this tragedy were a perfect storm of outdated strategies and tactics, lack of an incident command structure, insufficient training, poor adherence to building codes, and a massive fuel load in a building that lacked fire suppression systems.

The Charleston 9

The nine fallen Charleston firefighters were husbands, fathers and dedicated community servants. This article is dedicated to their memory in hopes that firefighters everywhere can learn from their tragedy.


The buildings

The Sofa Super Store on Savannah Highway was the largest of three stores in a regional chain. This location included three showrooms, a covered loading dock and an attached warehouse building. In addition to these buildings, there were five smaller buildings constructed between the main showroom building and the warehouse.

The main showroom building was originally constructed as a grocery store in the mid-20th century and was of type II construction with the A-side wall consisting of brick and display windows and the remaining walls constructed from concrete block. The roof was lightweight steel decking with bar joist trusses, covered with foam insulation, a rubber membrane, and ballast. The main showroom was 125 feet wide x 130 feet deep.

Pre-engineered lightweight steel buildings were added to the B and D sides of the main showroom in 1994 and 1995 to expand the showroom space. These both measured 60 feet wide by 120 feet deep. The exterior walls as well as the roofs of these buildings were sheet metal and supported by steel columns and rafters to create an open floor plan. The additional showroom buildings shared the concrete block wall with the main showroom. These will be referred to as the east and west showrooms.

Charleston Fire

Firefighters arrive at the Sofa Super Store furniture warehouse in Charleston, S.C. on Monday, June 18, 2007. A raging fire ensued and nine firefighters died in the blaze when a roof collapsed. (AP Photo/Alexander Fox)

Alexander Fox/AP

The block walls on either side of the main showroom were breached by 8x8-foot openings to provide an open flow to the added showroom buildings on either side. These openings were protected by six roll-down fire doors that were equipped with fusible links for automatic closure in a fire, but the three doors along the west showroom did not function properly.

The front of the building had a façade and parapet, and to the casual observer would have appeared as one building. The parapet not only obscured the view of the roofline but would have also made access to the roof challenging from the front of the building. However, roof access could have been possible from either side or the rear of the building over ground ladders.

An engineered lightweight steel warehouse building was added to the property in 1996. This building was 120 x 130 feet and 29 feet tall. It contained rack storage and was full of furniture and houseware inventory as well as other supplies.

Between the showroom buildings and the warehouse was a loading dock that had been enclosed to protect it from the elements. In addition to its use for loading and unloading, the dock was also used as a short-term storage area to stage furniture waiting to be shipped. The dock was constructed of wood framing and decking and was enclosed by sheet metal.

All three showroom spaces had suspended ceilings. In the main showroom area, the ceiling was approximately 5 feet below the roof while the void space above the ceilings in the east and west showrooms tapered from 5 feet at the block walls down to 2½ feet at the exterior edge due to the pitch of the roofs.

In addition to the permanent structures, several smaller storage buildings had been constructed in the areas between the showrooms, loading dock and warehouse buildings. None of these were constructed or placed in accordance with the building code, nor was there any history of building permits for them.

All of the buildings on the property lacked roof openings for ventilation. Additionally, they were constructed as separate buildings, and each of them was below the square footage threshold that would have required fire sprinklers, so there were no fire protection systems in place.

The showrooms, warehouse and loading dock all contained housewares and furniture made from plastic polyurethane foam. These materials are hydrocarbon-based and are a dense fuel. Once ignited, they produce high heat and dense, carbon-rich smoke. As this solid hydrocarbon fuel burns, it yields a gaseous form of itself that spreads quickly until it reaches a fuel/air mixture that will sustain combustion.

In addition to furniture storage and display, several areas within the buildings contained an unknown quantity of chemicals used for furniture repair and maintenance.

As is the case with most furniture stores, the showrooms were set up with display pieces. Furniture stores are particularly disorienting, as they do not follow the familiar format of other big-box stores that have aisles and walkways.

The Charleston Fire Department

There were several organizational, operational and cultural factors that contributed to the magnitude of this incident.

At the time of the fire, the CFD consisted of 16 engine companies and three truck companies staffed by about 240 firefighters and officers. The department operated a three-shift system, working 24 hours on duty followed by 48 hours off. Each shift was led by four battalion chiefs and an assistant chief.

Firefighters received initial training at the S.C. State Fire Academy or from another source as approved by the fire chief. Following initial NFPA Firefighter 1 training, recruits would attend an additional 10 days of in-house training at the Charleston Fire Academy, taught by CFD instructors.

Each company was assigned four personnel, but minimum staffing for an engine company was a captain and two firefighters, while minimum staffing for a truck company was two firefighters. At the time, it was not unheard of for a truck company to be shut down for a shift due to staffing shortages.

It was also common practice for members to operate in “acting” capacities outside of their normal responsibilities. On June 18, several members served in acting roles, including the captains assigned to Ladder 5, Engine 10 and Engine 12. In addition to the acting positions, CFD utilizes assistant engineers as needed to cover shift vacancies. Ladder 5, Engine 10 and Engine 11 all had assistant engineers that day.

The department did not have a designated safety officer at the time of the fire, nor was one assigned during the incident. At the time, Charleston did not have pre-ordered alarm assignments, pre-established critical incident tasks, or a practice of tracking fireground accountability. It was understood that the ranking officer on scene was in charge, and if additional companies were needed, they would be requested individually.


Photo/Greg Rogers

The Sofa Super Store fire

At 1907 on June 18, 2007, a passerby reported smoke coming from the rear of the Sofa Super Store. The initial response brought Engine 11, Engine 10, Ladder 5 and Battalion 4.

The assistant chief was having dinner at Engine 11’s quarters at the time and responded with the initial assignment. Prior to CFD arrival, an employee attempted to put out the fire using extinguishers but was unsuccessful.

The fire was reported to be behind the Sofa Super Store, so Engine 11 responded to Pebble Road, the residential street that ran behind the store’s property to get access to the fire. In actuality, the fire was behind the showroom building but in front of the warehouse, so Engine 11 could not access it due to the property being fenced in.

At the time of the call, Engine 10 was picking up groceries nearby so their response time was faster than it would have been if they were in quarters. This meant that Engine 10 would now be arriving first and assume initial suppression duties.

The battalion chief was the first to arrive on scene and reported rubbish burning against the loading dock. He ordered Engine 10 to back down the driveway on the D-side to the fire but never implemented the incident command system. The battalion chief further reported that the fire may be extending into the building.

Once in place, Engine 10’s captain advanced a booster line to attack the rubbish fire that was impinging on the loading dock enclosure and extending into the building. The remaining members of Engine 10 pulled a 1½-inch line to the loading dock and began attacking the fire. The battalion chief remained on the delta side of the building to oversee the fire attack.

Department procedure called for a 60-gpm flow rate on 1½ inch handlines, which could be increased to 100 gpm by adjusting the nozzle and increasing pump pressure. Booster lines had a target flow rate of 40 gpm. The initial flow rate at the loading dock was 100 gpm between the two lines.

The assistant chief arrived on scene and began directing operations at the front of the showroom as well as inside the store while the battalion chief remained on the delta side to oversee operations there. The assistant chief did not formally establish command or designate a command post. The assistant chief and the captain from Engine 11 walked in the front entrance and through the west showroom of the store to size up interior conditions. There was no smoke in the main showroom at this point, but they observed a light smoke condition near the ceiling at the rear of the west showroom. When the assistant chief unlatched the double doors leading to the loading dock, the draft from the fire pulled the door out of his hand. The captain from Engine 11 pulled the doors closed and called for a 1½ to be advanced into the building. Moments later, the assistant chief called Engine 15 to the scene with the order to advance a 1½ into the building.

Engine 11 was initially assigned to establish a water supply for Engine 10. As the assistant engineer and firefighter were preparing to do that, the captain called for the 1½. Hearing this order, the Ladder 5 captain ordered his crew to deploy a 1½ off of Engine 11, leaving no one to initiate any traditional truck company duties. It’s not known whether the Ladder 5 captain thought two lines were needed inside or if he decided to pull the line because of their arrival order.

The driver of Engine 11 was a recently qualified assistant engineer, and this was his first fire in that capacity. Additionally, he was not normally assigned to Engine 11 and was unfamiliar with the apparatus he was operating. He had trouble getting the pump to engage, leading to a delay in charging the 1½ that had been stretched. There were multiple calls to charge the line, so the acting captain from Engine 11, who was normally assigned as the engineer, came out of the building, and helped the assistant engineer get the pump engaged.

Engine 16 was assigned to establish a water supply for Engine 11, and Engine 12 was assigned to supply water to Engine 10. Neither of these assignments were simple for a variety of reasons. The nearest hydrants were in the neighborhood behind the property and inaccessible because of the fence. The next-closest hydrants were located across Savannah Highway, a four-lane U.S. highway with heavy traffic, particularly in the evening.

The engineer on Engine 16 headed for a hydrant diagonally across the highway from the furniture store, about 100 feet from the corner of Wahoo Road. When he arrived at that location, the hydrant was missing. Due to frequent vehicle strikes, the hydrant had been removed by the water company, but the engineer was not aware of this. He continued down the highway until he ran out of supply hose, requiring him to utilize hose rolls from a compartment to complete the lay. This lay was 1,750 feet of 2½ and 100 feet of 3-inch line.

Engine 12 would lay out from Engine 10, across Savannah Highway to another hydrant, one block into the neighborhood. This was an 850-foot lay of 2½-inch hose. Both engineers assigned to water supply reported that cars were driving over their supply lines and called for the police to shut down the road.

The remainder of Engine 16’s crew was assigned to advance a 2½ from Engine 11 through the front doors and to the rear of the showroom. Because of the delay caused by the missing hydrant, this line could not be charged right away.

At this point, crews from Engine 11, Ladder 5, and Engine 15 were operating at the rear of the showroom, and crews from Engine 10 and Engine 12 were operating on the delta side at the loading dock and warehouse, which were now both well-involved.

Charleston Fire

Firefighters arrive as smoke begins to billow out of windows at the Sofa Super Store furniture warehouse in Charleston, S.C. on Monday, June 18, 2007.

Alexander Fox/AP

The fire chief had arrived on scene but did not establish command or designate a command post. He directed the crews on the delta side to deploy two 2½-inch handlines and remain outside the warehouse while they directed their streams into it. This is the first indication that a defensive strategy would have been appropriate for all involved areas. As this was going on, there were several requests to increase pressure on the supply line.

In addition to the 1½ and the 2½ from Engine 11, a booster line was also advanced through the front doors, and Engine 16 was now able to send water to Engine 11.

An employee called 911 at 1926 to report that he was in the building and trapped in a room at the rear of the showroom building. The dispatcher relayed this information to the scene, and the assistant chief began overseeing the rescue operation. Crews from the St. Andrews Fire District worked to breach the rear wall and were successful in rescuing the trapped employee. As this was happening, conditions in the store were rapidly deteriorating.

Firefighters who were inside reported zero visibility conditions and rapidly increasing heat. A photo taken at 1923 shows smoke and flames issuing from the roofline on the delta side of the building. It’s likely that the void spaces between the ceiling and roof of the main showroom and west showroom had heavy fire throughout, but the conditions were masked by the suspended ceilings. Eventually, part of the ceiling failed, leading to rapidly changing conditions and flashover.

The first call for help – a somewhat inaudible transmission containing the words “trapped inside” or “lost inside” – was at 1927 and went unanswered due to other radio traffic. Several more transmissions were made over the next few minutes and were unnoticed by personnel on scene. The fire chief was unaware that firefighters were in distress until a responding off-duty battalion chief, who had heard the calls, arrived on scene and relayed the information.

The fire chief worked to gain control of the radio traffic and find out who was trapped. There was some confusion regarding who was missing and whether they had already come out of the building. The radio traffic over the next few minutes indicated the escalating severity of this situation with every transmission. The fire chief began calling individual companies but was unable to contact them.

At 1935, the fire chief ordered firefighters to take the windows at the front of the store. Initially, smoke is pulled back into the building from the fresh air draft. The fire continued intensifying, and at 1938, the fire chief ordered everyone to abandon the building. As the fire continued to burn, additional companies responded to the scene. Upon hearing of the severity of the situation and the missing firefighters, several off-duty members arrived to assist as well.

There was such confusion on scene regarding how many firefighters were missing and who they were that the fire chief was issuing orders to Ladder 5 without realizing the entire company was trapped in the building and their apparatus was being operated by off-duty firefighters.

As the fire raged on, it slowly became apparent how many firefighters were missing and from which companies; however, the general lack of fireground accountability or adherence to crew integrity made this task difficult.

The intensity of the fire prevented entry into the building, and the high heat led to the weakening of the roof trusses, ultimately resulting in the collapse of the main and west showroom roofs as well as the warehouse roof. Once the fire was controlled to the extent that search crews could re-enter the building, they began to search for the firefighters.

Firefighters entered the collapsed showroom buildings to search among the smoke, soot-filled water, burned-out furniture and fallen trusses. One by one, the firefighters were located and carried from the building, draped in American flags.

What had begun as a rubbish fire in an alley had become the darkest day in American firefighting since September 11, 2001. The Charleston Fire Department was forever changed.

Charleston Fire

Smoke pours out of the Sofa Super Store furniture warehouse in Charleston, S.C. on Monday, June 18, 2007. Nine firefighters died in the blaze when a roof collapsed. (AP Photo/Alexander Fox)

Alexander Fox/AP

Factors leading to tragedy

When Engine 11 responded to Pebble Road, they did so with the understanding that the fire was behind the building, but it was actually on the side of the building. Between this and Engine 10 having a shorter response time than usual, companies needed to deploy out of the expected order. The engineer on Engine 11 was given orders to supply Engine 10 but then given a subsequent order from a different officer who was not in his chain of command. He followed the order from the second officer and abandoned the mission to establish a water supply. This led to some confusion and a delay in water supply establishment for Engine 10.

The NFPA outlines incident management requirements. These requirements were formerly published in NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1561 but are now consolidated into NFPA 1550: Standard for Emergency Responder Health and Safety. This standard and its predecessors require early establishment of the incident command system (ICS), clear identification of the incident commander (IC), a command structure that meets the changing needs of the incident, and methods to ensure the IC maintains a strategic perspective of the incident. The command post should be located in a stationary position with presence and visibility, ideally with a view of the entire incident scene. NFPA establishes personnel and resource accountability practices, as well as communications requirements. The requirements set forth by the NFPA are intended to reduce fatality risk and to stabilize the incident by emphasizing the need for initial and ongoing risk management and situational awareness, and to maintain span of control and to ensure appropriate strategy selection.

Failure to establish the ICS had dire consequences. ICs are expected to make decisions at the strategic level. At an incident of this size and severity, the IC should have assigned another officer as the operations section chief to oversee tactical level responsibilities. Several times during this fire, the fire chief can be heard issuing orders relating to water pressure. As critical as water supply is at any fire, this is but one tactical objective of the incident. If an IC is fixated too closely on any one tactical objective, they are likely to lose sight of the overall incident and related strategies. While the fire chief was directing operations about water supply, no one was maintaining overall command and control of the incident. The command post should have been located where the IC would have had a broad view of the scene. This would have prevented him from becoming fixated on any one task and might have increased his situational awareness.


A firefighter takes a moment in front of the caskets of the nine fallen firefighters during a memorial service, Friday, June 22, 2007, in Charleston, South Carolina.

C. Aluka Berry/MCT

Risk assessment at a fire scene should be ongoing and paramount. When firefighters arrived on scene, store employees reported that everyone was out of the building. Later in the incident, it was learned that one employee was trapped. Aside from firefighters, this employee was the only life safety risk within the building. Had a proper size-up and risk assessment been completed, the outcome of this fire may have been different. When faced with a well-involved commercial building and no indication that anyone is inside, early consideration should be given to a defensive, exterior attack. Had this been the strategy, the trapped employee would likely have been rescued in the same manner, but with far less confusion on scene.

There was no accountability system in place to track the personnel on scene, company integrity was not maintained, and tactical objectives were not communicated. All of these factors contributed to the lack of fire control, disorganization of the scene, and delay in adequate resources.

There was no rapid intervention crew (RIC) dispatched to the scene, nor were firefighters adequately trained in firefighter survival or rapid intervention techniques. In addition, the department lacked a mayday procedure so there was no standard way to call for help or for those calls to be handled. These factors contributed to loss of life and loss of control on scene.

In order to gain control of a building fire, firefighters must deliver adequate quantities water to absorb the heat energy being produced. In terms of the National Fire Academy’s fire flow formula, 733 gpm would have been required for the loading dock alone. The first two lines pulled were a 1-inch booster line and a 1½-inch preconnect. The combined flow of these two lines was 100 gpm. The additional 1½ stretched from Engine 11 would have added 60 gpm to the flow. It is believed that the 2½ from Engine 11 never flowed any water, despite being charged. Had this line been used, it would have added approximately 250 gpm to the fire flow. This still would have been over 300 gpm short of the target flow.

In addition to the lack of sufficient water being delivered to the seat of the fire, water supply was inadequate. Hose diameter and friction loss are directly related, and increased length increases friction loss. As pressure increases, so is turbulence within the hose. Both Engine 16’s and Engine 12’s engineers reported exceeding the 200 psi maximum established by department SOPs. The 1,850-foot lay of mostly 2½-inch hose would have meant that Engine 16 would have had to pump the supply line to 475 psi. This would likely have been impossible without exceeding the capabilities of the pump or damaging the hose. Engine 12 would have had to pump the supply line to 662 psi to achieve the required flow rate to sustain Engine 10’s operation. This, too, would have been impossible with the apparatus and hose being used.

Critical fireground tasks for truck companies include search and rescue, forcible entry, ventilation, overhaul, and utility control. None of these tasks were assigned or performed during the initial fire attack. Had a search been conducted, the trapped employee might have been found sooner. Even though firefighters had access to the buildings, it is considered best practice to assign a truck company to “soften” the building by forcing all exterior exit doors to provide additional egress routes. It is, however, unlikely that this practice would have improved the outcome for the fallen firefighters based on building configuration and where the firefighters were located. We often consider overhaul to be a task that occurs after the fire is out, but the practice of checking for fire extension falls into this category as well. Had a truck company been assigned to check for extension, they would have discovered the heavy fire conditions above the suspended ceiling. If those conditions had been discovered, the strategy should have shifted to a defensive posture before the conditions deteriorated.

The West Ashley section of Charleston is served both by the CFD and the St. Andrews Public Service District, depending on when properties were annexed into the City of Charleston. The Sofa Super Store property was both adjacent to and across the street from properties that fell within the boundaries of the St. Andrews District. Despite this, the departments did not rely heavily on mutual aid, nor did they work together often. When the St. Andrews units arrived on scene, their help was initially refused, but they were put to work moments later for rescue and suppression tasks. St. Andrews carried large-diameter supply hose and brought a thermal imaging camera to the scene. Had these capabilities been realized and utilized early on, water supply capabilities would have been increased exponentially, as friction loss would have been reduced by about 90%. Early use of thermal imaging would have shown the extent of fire spread before the conditions inside the building deteriorated. Having multiple agencies arriving on scene of a fire of this magnitude without a solid plan for mutual-aid responses or regular interagency training can be overwhelming to the incident commander and can complicate fireground accountability.

The decision to break out the front windows was made as a last-ditch effort to increase survival chances of the trapped firefighters. This increased airflow into the building and accelerated fire spread throughout the showroom. Ventilation at structure fires should be conducted in coordination with suppression tasks and done early in the incident. While commercial roof work is extremely labor intensive and staffing was limited on scene, this tactic, if used, would likely have changed the outcome of this fire. First, it would have been immediately apparent that there was fire extension above the ceilings throughout the main and west showrooms. It also would have slowed the fire’s progress, reduced heat and increased visibility inside the store, reducing risk for the crews operating inside.

Most of the radio traffic for this incident was transmitted over a single talk group. While there were two additional channels available, the department’s practice was to utilize the main fire talk group for all radio traffic including dispatch, on-scene operations and non-critical radio traffic. This contributed to the communication breakdown when firefighters began calling for help. The department also did not have an established mayday procedure. That led to confusion and a lack of awareness of exactly who was in distress, where they were operating, and the nature of their distress.

While staffing limitations may have contributed to the Ladder 5 captain’s decision to take his company in to do engine work, the responsibility for truck work was not reassigned to another company. There are times when a company needs to perform tasks that are outside of their traditional functions. When this occurs, another company needs to be assigned to the other tasks that have been deferred. Commercial buildings require multiple companies to be assigned to traditional truck company duties. This is due to the size and complexity of the building, the overall workload, and the potential for firefighters and civilian victims becoming trapped.

Change in the wake of tragedy

A committee led by Gordon Routley was commissioned to unpack and review every aspect of this incident as well as the cultural factors within the department that contributed to this tragedy. The committee’s findings are documented in a 272-page document called “The Routley Report.” This report details the committee’s findings and recommendations, and the city essentially rebuilt its fire department based on these recommendations.

The CFD changes spanned several categories:

  • Leadership
  • ICS training
  • Training and equipment
  • Staffing and mutual aid
  • Establishment of a Fire Marshal division
  • Firefighter behavioral health

In 2008, and at the recommendation of Gordon Routley, Thomas Carr was appointed as the Charleston fire chief. After taking command, Chief Carr instituted a series of changes in the department. Senior leadership positions were added to increase oversight and accountability. The department began utilizing ICS and sent its members to training programs in ICS as well as in strategies and tactics. Attending training from outside of the organization gives firefighters and officers a broader perspective and access to updated concepts and skills.

CFD now focuses more time and resources on training. The department’s training division now ensures that training is in alignment with national standards and that personnel at all department levels are maintaining their skills. Recruit training has increased in time, content and quality. In-service training has been improved and increased. All firefighters are now trained to Firefighter II standards, and the department has a comprehensive fire officer development program. In addition, the hiring and promotion processes have been standardized.

The department now has a strong focus on firefighter survival and rapid intervention techniques. Policies and procedures have been completely revamped and department leaders have worked to increase risk assessment and situational awareness concepts. Equipment and procedures have been updated that include increased flow rates and larger hose. The practice of advancing 1½-inch hose with 60-gpm nozzles is now in the past.

The department has added companies and increased staffing. This included the addition of a heavy rescue company, two ladder companies and one engine company. Minimum staffing has also been increased to ensure that companies are not running short and can complete critical fireground tasks.

Charleston and all neighboring communities now participate in automatic-aid arrangements that ensure the closest units are dispatched, regardless of what department they’re from. This has increased on-scene staffing and improved the capabilities of all departments involved.

The Fire Marshal Division was established in 2010 and is charged with fire code enforcement, building plan review, fire investigations, and community outreach. Prior to this, fire code enforcement was the responsibility of the city’s building department. Moving fire code-related responsibilities into the fire department has increased firefighters’ awareness and knowledge of the risks they face. It has also improved the code compliance process within the city, leading to safer practices for firefighters and the public.

Additionally, mental health is a priority of most fire departments in the region now, and the Charleston Fire Department has become a model agency for firefighter peer support. There is even a standalone organization – the Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team – that exists solely for this purpose. Behavioral and mental health issues are seldom attributed to a single event, and the department has worked to establish a culture that supports ongoing wellness for firefighters throughout their careers.

Honoring the fallen


Engine 11’s quarters have been moved to the property next door to the Super Sofa Store site. Nine large windows face the sacred ground where the Charleston Fire Department was forever changed. There is a bell tower out front, and it tolls nine times every morning at 9 a.m.

As a tribute to the fallen, “Charleston 9” rides on most fire apparatus in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Today, 1807 Savannah Highway is a memorial park dedicated to the men who laid down their lives in service to their city. There are brick pedestals denoting the corners of the buildings, and a tree marks where the fire began. Markers and plaques stand where each of the firefighters was found, and a bronze firefighter statue stands watch over the site. The peaceful site serves as a humble reminder of the dangers of this job and the dedication of the men and women who do it.

Greg Rogers is a content developer for Lexipol with over two decades of experience in fire and emergency services. He is a retired battalion chief from the Ridge Road Fire District in Greece, New York, where he developed and implemented programs that improved service delivery and firefighter safety. He is a certified fire instructor with experience in emergency vehicle operations, engine company operations, and building construction. In addition to his fire service experience, Rogers has a background in maritime search and rescue and law enforcement with the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve. Rogers holds a degree in fire protection and has studied at the National Fire Academy as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy.