The South Carolina Chapter, National Safety Council was organized in 1961 and began as a response to the growing concern to the number of people being killed and injured in collisions in the Charleston area. In its early years, it was known as the Greater Charleston Safety Council and incorporated as a non-profit corporation. From the beginning, the Council has been a chartered Chapter of the National Safety Council.
During the early years, the Council was closely associated with the City and County of Charleston governments. There were also close ties with major military installations in the area. The Council’s first Executive Director was a retired Navy Captain, W.C.P. Bellinger. During these years, public officials regularly met with the Council’s Executive Committee and decisions affecting both were arrived at mutually. During the 1962 National Safety Council Congress in Chicago, the Council was recognized as being the first and only council in the country to have followed all recommended steps for establishing a local Council.
In 1966, the Council was a major force in forming the traffic violators school, training high school teachers as driver education instructors, arranging for auto dealers to provide new, dual-control cars to schools, (free of charge), raising the pay scale for local policemen and the adoption of the American Bar Association’s four-part traffic ticket in the Charleston area. Unfortunately later that year, the Council was plagued by a shortage of funds, which greatly restricted operations. As a result, the National Safety Council withdrew accreditation and later the first Executive Director resigned for health reasons. The Board of Directors then decided to secure sufficient funding from the community. Thanks in large part to the Charleston County Council, the City of Charleston, the United Fund (United Way) and a number of key organizations, the Council was able to hire a full-time staff and initiate a plan of work that continues to this day.
In 1984, the Board of Directors changed the Council’s name to the Palmetto Safety Council and requested the National Safety Council to expand its Charter to include the entire state of South Carolina.
Between 1987 and 1988, the Board of Directors decided to open a Columbia office to house a Program Director with responsibility for membership and product sales. Finally, the decision was made to hire a new Executive Director and relocate the corporate office to Columbia. In 1989, this became a reality when Hurricane Hugo destroyed the Charleston office and all of its products and equipment. The Council then moved to Columbia, and that same year initiated a joint membership arrangement with the National Safety Council in an effort to better serve members’ needs. In 1990, the decision was made to change the name to better reflect the Council’s mission and in May 1991 became The Palmetto Chapter National Safety Council.
At the Annual Meeting on February 18, 1997, the Board and Membership voted to again change the Council’s operating name to South Carolina Chapter, National Safety Council. In support of the continued growth of the Chapter, the office has moved to different locations in the Columbia area to house more office and warehouse space and is now located at 121 Ministry Drive Irmo, SC 29063 where it remains today.
SCNSC has consistently worked on promoting safety education and public awareness and is dedicated to reducing injuries, deaths, human suffering and economic loss caused by accidents. The Council, a volunteer, non-profit organization, seeks participation of citizens in community, industry and government in the accomplishment of our shared goal… a SAFER South Carolina.