GREER, SC (WSPA) – There’s a change in emergency coverage for the northern part of Greer.
Lake Cunningham Fire Department previously served that part of town, but now – that’s the job of Greer Fire.
“This is really more of a factor of growth, and as you grow you have to add more resources,” said Chief Dorian Flowers with the Greer Fire Department.
“This is not an issue with Lake Cunningham, this is a – we need to add additional resources to help the entire area, and by doing so and by virtual of how we operate, that increase would not only provide more protection and resources for the City of Greer, but it will also help with our partners as well,” Flowers said.
According to city officials, the contract for indirect service with the Lake Cunningham Fire Department expired.
“The city has had a contract with various fire departments around us, to primarily cover some of those areas, where it made sense over the years, and those contracts usually range around 10 years,” Flowers explained. “So, they come up periodically for renewal and review.”
“Lake Cunningham, we’ve had a long partnership with them,” Flowers said. “It’s always been a strong relationship and their contract come up for renewal, but with the growth and everything up in that area, the city felt like it was time for us to invest in some additional resources up in that area.”
“I think, for sure, it’s needed because it’s growing. It’s so busy up and down 290 -Highway 290 – right now,” said Lt. Rick Radzak with the Taylors Fire Department. “So, you know it’s more homes going up and a lot of neighborhoods. So yeah, I see a lot of growth going on.”
This change will affect the northern portion of the City of Greer including the Lake Robinson, O’Neal Village, and Stillwaters area.
“At the end of the day, what it really means is that we’re going to add some additional firefighters and equipment up in that area,” Flowers said. “This current budget year, the city has allocated additional resources to fire protection in this budget.”
“We are currently in the process of hiring additional personnel, not just for this project, but also another project to help increase the number of personnel and equipment kind of to our south–down in the Pelham-Batesville area,” Flowers said.
As of Monday morning, Greer Fire has moved personnel and equipment to the Taylors Fire Rescue Station 3 on St. Mark Road, to help in the northern portion of Greer.
The Taylors Fire Department said they are happy to partner with Greer Fire.
“Kind of excited about it,” Radzak said. “More guys at the station. We’d probably have a good time. It could be helpful because, whatever they are doing for training, we could join with them, and if we got special training, they could join us.”
Flowers said this move also helps other agencies too.
“Lake Cunningham has indicated that they will participate in auto-aid for things like structure fires, cardiac arrest, water rescues, things like that,” Flowers said. “And of course we will continue having mutual aid as well, and it is our hope that we will be able to expand the auto-aid up in that area, like we have in other areas of the city.”
“Basically, one of the differences is, that you will likely see a City of Greer fire truck arriving on scene, and there will be times, you’ll have other departments including Lake Cunningham responding and arriving on scene,” said Flowers. “Basically, we will eventually get to the point where we have the closest unit. So, if our apparatus is tied up on another call, the next closest unit is going to respond.”
Flowers said that they will eventually look into building a new fire station in the area and that this will enhance fire protection for all, while addressing growth.
“So again, it’s not any kind of issue that we’ve had, it’s just a different philosophy in how we’re moving forward, and trying to better serve our citizens, but also in doing so, because of those automatic aid agreements, we’re actually are able to help other departments as well–just like they’re helping us, we help them,” Flowers said.