GVW Fire Department, formed in 1972, protects the unincorporated communities of Graniteville, Vaucluse, and Warrenville in Aiken County, South Carolina. Aiken County lies along the South Carolina-Georgia border right across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia. Our district is bordered by the City of Aiken, the Edgefield County line, and the communities of Langley, Eureka, and Belvedere. There are about 12,000 residents in the area. That area includes about 3,300 residences along with substantial commercial and industrial property. The department also operates a Medical First Responder program and responds to EMS calls in support of Aiken County EMS.
The department is all volunteer, with total strength of about 45-50 personnel at any given time. All personnel carry voice pagers, and are alerted to calls by Aiken County 911 dispatchers. The department also has the capability to dispatch from our headquarters should the 911 dispatch be interrupted.
In 1984, GVW became the first volunteer fire department in South Carolina to earn a Class 4 rating by the Insurance Service Office (ISO). ISO ratings are used by insurance companies to help determine rates, and are based on equipment, personnel, water supply, dispatch, training, and other factors. A rating of "1" is the best, while areas with no fire protection are rated as a "10". Considering that the department's excellent rating saves everyone money on their insurance and the yearly subscription fee is only $35.00 per residence, GVW provides superb value for our citizens.
The department elects officers every year in June, and the term of office starts in July. Fireground operations are commanded by a typical organization of chief, assistant chief, captains, and lieutenants. In order to be nominated, personnel must have a certain number of years of service, depending on the rank. Also, they must have served at the next lower rank. For example, a candidate for captain must have served as a lieutenant. In addition to fireground command, each officer has other responsibilities, such as station and apparatus maintenance.
Administratively, the department is governed by a board of directors elected at the same time as officers. Per the department's charter, directors must be members of the department in good standing. The board of directors makes financial policy, takes action on applications for membership, and handles all other administrative and decision-making duties.
Webmaster: Lanny Valentine