GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – As the city of Greenville grows, the fire department is taking steps to improve their response.

Two vehicles, with one mission- to help others.

The City of Greenville Fire Department invested in their first responders in multiple ways to be better equipped to respond to emergencies.

In October, a specialized vehicle known as the ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting) truck went into commission in the city.

“It allows us to respond to the downtown airport here in Greenville,” explained Captain Scott King, Greenville Fire Department. “Before, we would respond with engines and ladder trucks and this will allow us to respond to any type of emergencies from smoke in the cockpit to landing gear failures or it could be a potential crash.”

Captain King is one of the men trained to ride the truck. In the short period of time it has been in use, he said crews have already seen success.

“Just during this short period we have already had five emergency responses out there with our ARFF truck,” said King. “Just having it on site and being able to get that quicker response there and have water on the scene has really helped out the city.”

It’s equipped with gallons of water, foam and other chemicals. The department said the truck mainly responds to aircraft-related emergencies near the Greenville Downtown Airport, however, it’s capable of much more.

“It’s much bigger and much wider than our regular trucks,” said King. “We operate it from inside the vehicle rather than what we are used to with pulling hoses outside and in the elements. There are a lot more controls inside the cockpit. Everyone inside of the vehicle, not just the driver, has a goal and a task to be able to function all of the different nozzles.”

“It’s impressive for us to have that. Not just from an airport standpoint but for any type of emergency that we may have on the interstate,” said Fire Chief Brian Horton. “If we have a tanker truck turn over, if we have a train derailment with a fire that takes place like the one in Ohio, these types of vehicles can respond.”

Chief Horton said they are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and keep those in Greenville safe. That’s what led to the creation of a second vehicle focused on mobile command and communications.

It’s called the MCP truck or Mobile Command Post. Chief Horton said it will serve multiple purposes including a backup 911 dispatch center.

“It serves two major functions for the city. The first is that it’s a back up center for our dispatch center,” said Horton. “So, if we had a disaster come through and something happen to our dispatch they could take over operations from there.”

He said it will also operate as a command center for Greenville police and fire when responding to major incidents such as big storms, large fires, or events.

“It’s also there in case something happens, whether it’s a major fire, whether it’s something law enforcement needs with their law enforcement presence. Whether we are looking for someone that’s lost, it allows us the ability to have a command post on scene to work out of,” said Horton.

The two trucks are factors that give the department an edge and creates a safer, more efficient response in the event disaster calls.

​”We are an all-hazard department,” said Horton. “We need to make sure that we are prepared for anything to come forth to the city or to the county we’re in to protect our citizens.”

According to the fire department, the MCP truck is not quite ready to be rolled out. Crews are hopeful it will be available to run calls within the next month.

“We are training to respond and we want to do whatever we can to do our best to help those in need,” said King.

According to the city, the fire department also received new self-contained breathing packs and new fire hoses for its trucks as a part of a $1.3 million allocation, a portion of which was grant money.