The 2022 S.C. Fire-Rescue Conference ended with several firefighters from the Columbia-Richland Fire Department taking home awards from the S.C. State Firefighters’ Association (SCSFA).

Nine CRFD firefighters shared a Meritorious Award for helping rescue a mother and her child from a fast-moving house fire in February 2021. A second Meritorious Award went to CRFD first-shift crews, who responded to an August 2020 water rescue on the Broad River in which a boy became entrapped in rocks and debris.

Also at the conference, retired CRFD Training Capt. Jack Veal was inducted into the SCSFA Hall of Fame. Veal, who retired in 2021 after 43 years in state fire service, spent the past 24 years with CRFD, training countless firefighters as an officer in the training division. Veal also taught firefighters at the S.C. Fire Academy, where he led instruction in 51 courses and also put together a course in fighting fires fueled by flammable gas.