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Chip has always had a love for custom cars and to this day that love is still there. On his off days from the fire department Chip has owned his own business for eighteen years doing upholstery work on cars, boats, and motorcycles.
Chip began volunteering with the City of Beaufort in 2000. While participating in the volunteer program, he began working on his firefighting certifications and in May of 2002, Chip was hired as a full-time career firefighter.
In June of 2012, Chip was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant for Shift 3, and in February of 2016 Chip was promoted to Captain for Shift 1. During his 14 years with the city, Chip has obtained his Emergency Medical Technician certification (EMT-B) and from 2010 to 2012 was the department’s volunteer coordinator. He has also taken on the responsibility of issuing and inventorying all daily uniforms and fire gear for hired and volunteer firefighters at the department.
In 2011, Chip earned a certification through Globe International to inspect and repair protective fire gear; this makes him responsible for inspecting and repairing all fire and safety gear for his department. This certification has made it possible for him to repair gear for all fire departments in northern Beaufort County.
Lieutenant Cooler has been honored with several awards. In 2005, he received two Outstanding Citizenship awards by The Congressional Fire Service Institute. In 2006, he received three awards to include a Certificate of Dedication and Valor in the Line of Duty, an Outstanding Service to the Citizens of Beaufort County, and an Outstanding Citizenship award, all by The Congressional Fire Service Institute.
Chip was featured in Care magazine in 2006 for outstanding citizenship. In 2010, Chip received the Fire Fighter of the Year award given by The City of Beaufort Fire Department. In 2013 and 2015 he was awarded with Life Saving Medals by The City of Beaufort Fire Department.
Chip met and began dating his wife Bonnie while in high school and the two were married in 2000 and have a daughter, Emma Jean.