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About the Department

A Message From the Chief

Thank you for your interest in the North Charleston Fire Department. Our department includes a diverse group of 270 men and women working collectively to accomplish our mission to improve and protect the quality of life within our service area through education, prevention and emergency response. The mission extends far beyond responding to fires or other emergencies. For those who assume that our firefighters are lounging at their stations waiting for an emergency call, our mission statement may seem confusing. What does it mean for a fire department to protect quality of life, and what would that look like?

To see for yourself, you do not need to schedule a visit or tour a station. In fact, you may not even find us there. Instead, simply look for us as you participate in the things that are important to you and your family. Each weekend our crews participate in school festivals, church picnics, neighborhood block parties, corporate family days, charitable fundraisers, and a variety of other events, providing fire safety information and prevention displays.

We offer medical first responders at sports tournaments, competitive run/walks, and neighborhood service days. You may see us on the water providing fire protection to our port community with our fire boat and other marine assets. You may see our Squad trucks, which are light SUVs, responding quickly and efficiently to medical calls in busy areas. You may see us on bike patrol during large events at North Charleston’s beautiful Riverfront Park, or at a child’s birthday party at North Charleston’s fantastic Fire Museum. Late at night, you may see members of our Fire Marshal’s Office at nightclubs and restaurants to ensure the safety of those enjoying the City’s night life.

During the week, our firefighters are active in our schools, teaching fire prevention, as well as serving as positive role models in reading and mentoring programs. You may see us at your place of employment, providing inspections to ensure compliance with fire codes to ensure your workplace is safe, or “pre-planning” a building for accurate information in the event of an emergency. Our certified technicians help parents of small children learn to properly install safety seats in their vehicles. Our marine firefighters teach boating education to improve safety on the beautiful rivers that border our city on two sides.

Throughout the year, our crews join with the other City departments working to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Our crews go door-to-door installing free smoke alarms as part of our award winning program that has provided thousands of these life saving devices to North Charleston residents. We’ve partnered with the Mayor’s Office on Aging to improve fire safety among our City’s seniors through our Senior Care program.

Any one of these sights is a glimpse of us meeting the demands of our mission. Our crews are engaged directly with our residents and businesses, working to prevent emergencies or in position to give immediate assistance in ways that fit specifically with the needs of our City. Our crews also keep a rigorous training schedule and maintain a constant state of readiness to respond en force to any emergency incident. These initiatives and activities help us remain proactive and vigilant in providing fire protection.

We work hard to ensure that you will not need us in our traditional role of emergency responders, but if you do, be assured that you will experience the same high quality response that the North Charleston Fire Department has provided since our beginnings in 1937. While our mission has expanded to meet the demands of the 21st century, it remains consistent with the oldest and finest traditions of the fire service.

Gregory A. Bulanow

Fire Chief


Gregory A. Bulanow began his fire service career with the North Charleston Fire Department in 1996. He advanced through the ranks from recruit Firefighter to be appointed Chief of the Department in 2009. Chief Bulanow earned a Bachelors Degree in English from Cedarville College in Cedarville, OH in 1995 and a Masters Degree in Management from Southern Wesleyan University in Central, SC in 2004. He graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD in 2009 and that same year was accepted for membership by the Institution of Fire Engineers headquartered in the United Kingdom. He achieved professional credentialing as a Chief Fire Officer by the Center for Public Safety Excellence in Chantilly, VA in 2009 and achieved designation renewal in 2012, 2015 and 2018. Chief Bulanow resides with his wife and children in North Charleston’s Park Circle neighborhood.

Follow Chief Bulanow at: http://twitter.com/NCFDChief