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Fire Rescue Awards

Emergency Management Accreditation

Emergency Management Accreditation Program Logo

The Town of Hilton Head Island earned full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) in 2023.

EMAP is an independent organization that develops internationally recognized standards and an accreditation process for disaster preparedness programs worldwide. It allows emergency management programs to be recognized for compliance with industry standards, demonstrate accountability, and focus attention on areas and issues where resources are needed.

The emergency management standards cover the following:

  • Program management, administration and finance, and laws and authorities
  • Hazard identification, risk assessment, and consequence analysis
  • Hazard mitigation
  • Prevention
  • Continuity planning and procedures
  • Operational planning and procedures
  • Incident management
  • Resource management, mutual aid, and logistics
  • Communications and warning
  • Facilities
  • Training
  • Exercises, evaluations, and corrective action
  • Emergency public education and information

The accreditation demonstrates the Town's commitment to be a world-class community.

Fire Safe South Carolina Community Award

Fire Safe South Carolina Logo

The Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Department earned the Fire Safe South Carolina Community Award for 2019.

What is the Fire Safe South Carolina Community Award?

Fire Safe South Carolina has actively worked with local fire departments to develop community risk reduction plans for their jurisdictions. Fire Rescue continues to work daily to reduce fire-related injuries, promote consistent messaging, improve data quality, and provide valuable resources.

The following activities are considered for the award:

  • Developing partnerships with community groups to provide fire safety information
  • Department members attending Community Risk Reduction courses
  • Participation in open house, neighborhood events and local festivals
  • Use of Social Media
  • Publication of Monthly Articles
  • Identify areas most at risk in the community
  • Smoke Alarm partnerships
  • Department Members attend home visit train the trainer
  • Submission of National Fire Incident Reporting System data

International Accreditation

International Accreditation

The Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Department received initial accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) on March 23, 2002 and has continued to maintain accreditation each five year cycle.

Accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal performance and compare them to industry best practices. This process leads to improved service delivery.

Learn more about our International Accreditation

National Weather Service's TsunamiReady Designation

In 2018 the Town of Hilton Head Island received TsunamiReady designation from the National Weather Service and continues to maintain that designation today.


What is the TsunamiReady Designation?

TsunamiReady is a voluntary community recognition program that promotes tsunami hazard preparedness as an active collaboration among federal, state/territorial and local emergency management agencies, community leaders and the public.

The main goal of the program is to improve public safety before, during and after tsunami emergencies. It aims to do this by establishing guidelines for a standard level of capability to mitigate, prepare for and respond to tsunamis and working with communities to help them meet the guidelines and ultimately become recognized as TsunamiReady by the National Weather Service.

American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award

Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue was awarded the Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award from the American Heart Association in 2016 and 2017.

Mission: Lifeline EMS recognition is a program designed to showcase Emergency Medical Service organizations across the nation for excellent STEMI care.

  • Prehospital personnel are the first providers of care to patients suffering from cardiac emergencies.
  • The role of EMS in the system-of-care for these patients is crucial and often sets the course for the patient's outcome.

National Weather Service's StormReady Designation

In July of 2015 the Town of Hilton Head Island received StormReady designation form the National Weather Service.

Storm Ready

What is the StormReady Designation?

StormReady is the National Weather Service's national community preparedness program that helps communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather.

The following standards must be met to be designated a StormReady Community:

  • Have a 24-hour warning point (Dispatch Center) and emergency operations center
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
  • Have a system that monitors weather conditions locally
  • Promote the importance of public readiness
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan and holding emergency exercises
  • Complete a site visit by the National Weather Service

The StormReady designation recognizes the Town's ongoing commitment to public safety and preparedness. Communities maintain the designation for three years and must go through another application process to be re-designated.

Learn more at

South Carolina Fitting Station of the Year Award

In 2013, the SC Department of Health & Environmental Control awarded the Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue department the SC Fitting Station of the Year Award for installation of child passenger seats.

International Association of Fire Chiefs: Heart Safe Community Award

In 2012, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue received a prestigious award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, recognizing the Town's extraordinary efforts to make our community one of the safest in the world to experience a cardiovascular emergency.

This award is presented to fire service-based EMS agencies that have played a key role in improving the quality of out-of-hospital treatment of heart disease, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and resuscitation efforts.

SC Fire Chief Association Richard S. Campbell Award for Excellence in Public Fire Safety Education

In 2008, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue was recognized for its commitment and dedication to Public Education in Fire and Life Safety.

Municipal Achievement Award: Public Safety Category - Defibrillator

In 2000, the Municipal Association of South Carolina recognized Hilton Head Island's effort to train bystanders CPR, deploy AED's throughout the community, including gated communities and contributions to establish good Samaritan legislation in the state of South Carolina.