From staff reports
Tim Ogden was sworn in Friday, Aug. 13, as the new Chief of the City of Beaufort-Town of Port Fire Department.
“I had a passion for (firefighting) when I started,” Ogden said last week. “I knew then I was going to make a career out of it. I was going to be a fire chief and in the lead role. It has been a lifelong goal.”
Ogden, formerly the Deputy Chief of Operations, joined the department in 2016 as Fire Marshal. Previously, he was Deputy State Fire Marshal for Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton counties.
Ogden replaces Reece Bertholf, who is now the Deputy City Manager for the City of Beaufort. Bertholf was Chief for almost six years.
“Tim has demonstrated strong management and leadership skills in his role as deputy chief,” said City Manager Bill Prokop. “We are confident that the department will continue to thrive under his command.”
The Fire Department has a staff of 64, including 53 full-time and 9 part-time firefighters. It has an annual budget of $5.4 million.
“We’re going to continue to focus on the fire department’s training and medical training,” Ogden said. “That’s at the top of the list. Basically, we’ll focus on protecting the community.”
Ogden, who grew up in the Town of Yemassee, began his career as a volunteer firefighter there. In 1995, he was hired as the first professional firefighter for Yemassee.
Ogden earned a bachelor’s in fire science and a master’s in public administration for emergency service management, both degrees from Columbia Southern University. He holds numerous certifications in fire protection.
“My wife, Audra, and I and our family are grateful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Beaufort and Port Royal,” Ogden said. “I want to ensure that the Fire Department continues to exceed expectations in professional excellence. Our commitment to the highest standards of service to our residents and businesses underscores everything we do, and that will continue.”