GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – 7NEWS Anchor, Fred Cunningham, was with Pelham-Batesville Fire Department Chief Phil Jolley at the new Station 55, the headquarters. This station needed to help keep up with the growth of the area.

“Tremendous growth in this area and has been for years, Fred. We were in the position of adding to our four stations at the time we built this. a lot of our equipment had to be spread out around those four stations, so this one is a lot bigger. A lot more room to bring a lot of that stuff that was spread out into this building. That way we have a central place,” the chief said. “Boats, brush fire equipment, brush trucks. things that normally would have been spread out. They’re all here under one roof. Gives us a little better response time. And yes, the old station that we outgrew a number of years ago. Growing in the community. Community grows like this; you have to grow with them and that’s what this has been about.”

Chief Jolley also told us about the unique aspects of the station.

Pelham-Batesville Fire Department Fire Chief Phil Jolley (left) and Vance Mahaffey (right)

“There are several things that are different. The bunk rooms here are laid out for individuals so you’ve got individual bunk rooms for each of the guys who might sleep in. The guys work 24 on and 48 hours off. We’ve got a very nice gym here. We don’t duplicate that gym at every station so the substations can come in here and work out. When you go through the gym, you’ll see a sauna. Lots of people see that and wonder, ‘what it’s doing in there?’ One of the things we’ve learned in the fire service is cancer is very prevalent in firefighters because of the smoke that we get into. So, one of the things that’s rather new is when they go in and fight a fire, we try to get them out of their gear as quickly as they can and get them back here . get them in the shower and put them in that sauna to swat some of that stuff out of their system. We don’t know if it will make a difference down the road but we try to do everything we can to protect these guys. It’s a 25, 30-year career. We want them to leave when they retire and have a life after (the fire service).”