Matt McDowell is a Captain for the Bluffton Township Fire District (SC), Instructor for the South Carolina Fire Academy, President of the Lowcountry FOOLS.  He has a degree in fire administration and teaches firefighting, rapid intervention and firefighter survival both locally and statewide.  He has previously served as Training Officer for Hardeeville Fire/Rescue (SC) and as a Firefighter for the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George’s County, Maryland.




Justin Cunningham- Lieutenant, Hilton Head Island Fire/Rescue


Chris Garniewicz is a Captain with the Bluffton Township Fire District where he is assigned to Truck 375.  He has a BS degree from Northeastern University and is an IFSAC Instructor II.  Captain Garniewicz has worked as an Adjuct Instructor for the South Carolina Fire Academy, teaching Truck Company Operations and Basic Auto Extrication.  Prior to joining Bluffton 15 years ago, Captain Garniewicz volunteered in Massachusetts.




AJ Halloway- Columbia FD

Jason (JJ) Joannides is a firefighter with the City of Columbia, assigned to Ladder Company 7. He has his associate’s degree from UNC-Charlotte and is a certified Instructor with the South Carolina Fire academy, where he works part-time since 2007. JJ’s passion in his career has been Truck Company Operations, traveling from New York to Florida taking multiple courses in Truck ops, Aerial operations and VES classes along with RIT ops and Mayday courses. He is a Founding member of Palmetto FOOLS






Chris Kip- Battalion Chief, Columbia FD

Greg Mundy- Deputy Chief, Irmo Fire District


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S.A.F.E. Firefighter

20 Old Farm Road Bluffton, South Carolina 29910 (843) 247-6044

About Us

S.A.F.E. Firefighter helps firefighters to be smart, aggressive, fundamentally-sound and efficient through high-energy, high intensity and high-impact training.


Upcoming Events

"Street Smart Shop Talk"
Fire Engineering Talk Radio
Tuesday August 12, 2014 @ 1930 hrs

"Search & Rescue 1" (H.O.T.) &
"RIC/Mayday Refresher" (H.O.T.)
Goose Creek, SC
Saturday September 6, 2014

"Street Smart Shop Talk"
Fire Engineering Talk Radio
Tuesday September 23, 2014 @ 1930 hrs

"Search & Rescue 1" (H.O.T.) &
"RIC/Mayday Refresher" (H.O.T.)
Goose Creek, SC
Saturday October 4, 2014

Recent Events

"Outside the Box Firefighting" @ SC Fire/Rescue Conference

"Street Smart Fireground Forcible Entry" @ SC Fire/Rescue Conference

"Street Smart Shop Talk" on FireEngineering Blog Talk Radio

"Spartanburg Research Burns" w/ NIST, UL, ISFSI & SCFA

Quote of the Month:

"The reason why Sun Tzu at the head of 30,000 men beat Ch`u with 200,000 is that the latter were undisciplined."

- Sun Tzu (The Art of War)



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