A tragic fire in 1977, in which 5 lives were lost, was a “wake-up call” for City Fire Chief Michael Glasgow, who at the time was new to the job. Since that time, the Department has greatly increased in its up-to-date equipment and training for all firefighters. Currently, the Columbia Fire Department has 25 firefighters, all volunteer and all equipped with pagers. These firefighters are on-call at all times. All 25 are state-certified as training mandates and receive monthly trainings in current techniques.