GREER, S.C. (WSPA) — Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport’s new $9 million aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) facility will roughly triple the fire department’s current space once completed.
“You’re looking at a fire station that’s 8,000 square feet,” said GSP Fire Department Chief Tony Lohrman, motioning to the current facility behind him. “It was originally built in 1962.”
The current facility is old (and hasn’t been expanded since the 1980s) but it is up to date with current standards. However, the new facility, which is expected to be completed by December of this year, will be 24,000 square feet.
It will have separated bunk rooms and other added creature comforts for Lohrman and his 23 firefighters. It will also be better positioned to respond to emergencies on the runway and across the nearly-3,700-acre airport campus.
“We’ll be positioned closer to the middle of the runway, which will help our response times,” Lohrman said.
Funding for the new station came partly from federal dollars and partly from GSP’s own funds.
The project is necessary, too, according to airport leaders. Tom Tyra, the airports communications director, told 7 News Wednesday that GSP has seen double-digit growth in the number of passengers it sees annually for each of the past six years.
“This gives us more space and flexibility to meet current needs,” he said. “But also it gives us a chance as we continue to grow and as more flights come in here.”
As growth continues, the new facility will allow the airport to on-board new firefighters and house new equipment to meet regulations.
“This will allow us more flexibility to respond to the growth we’re seeing here at GSP,” he said.