South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has appointed NFPA Responder Forum scholarship candidate, Jonathan Jones, as the state fire marshal. The cabinet-level position comes with regulatory responsibility to ensure compliance with state fire safety regulations. He will take over the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's division of fire and life safety, and oversee the state's Fire Academy and Emergency Response Task Force.
Jones has been a member of the NFPA Responder Forum since its inception in 2015, and worked closely with NFPA when he was chair of the South Carolina Sprinkler Coalition. A 23-year veteran of the fire service, he became a volunteer firefighter at age 17 (following in his father's footsteps), held part-time firefighter roles during college and most recently held the position of Clarendon County Fire deputy chief. He is a former State Firefighters Association president who was inducted into the organization's Firefighters Hall of Fame. Jones has instructed at the state Fire Academy, served as one of Clarendon County's recruit class instructors, and has played a key role in showing young people the value they can add to the volunteer fire service.
Jones told Manning Live that he enjoys helping people. “The fire service, in a nutshell, is all about people,” he said. “It’s not about you, not about the shiny fire truck. It’s about people. I also enjoy working at the leadership level, because I believe we can inspire others to take these same types of positions in life.”
Jones has shown his leadership prowess during his two years with the Responder Forum by taking initiative, being a highly engaged participant, and by spearheading the Forum's Umanned Aircraft Systems white paper project in 2015/2016.