GFD may need new station in the future

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2004

Greenville’s growth in industry could trigger a need for another kind of growth. A growth in protective services.

The addition of buildings and the jump in population expected for the Camellia City will likely bring a need for a third fire department, according to the fire chief.

Greenville Fire Chief Mike Phillips said he believes there will be a need for a third department in the future.

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&uot;I do believe we will need one,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;At some point in time we will probably need one.&uot;

Phillips said before getting ready for a third department the city would need to find the best location for the department.

&uot;First we would have to figure out where to put a new fire station, &uot; said Phillips. &uot;Today we aren’t sure where it needs to be.&uot;

Where the station is located will have a lot to do with where the new industries and the extra population choose to locate.

The main goal is to keep the response time as quickly as possible.

Currently, this is a strong point of the Greenville Fire Department. The strategic location of the two city stations gives them a very good response time.

Phillips said he felt the current response time of the department was good.

&uot;Our response times are good,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;I’m not sure exactly what the times are, but they are good,&uot;

The current rating of the Greenville Fire Department is a five. Phillips said it is difficult to tell how a third station would affect that rating.

&uot;I don’t really know how a third station would affect that,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;There are so many things to consider. But, it is always our goal to get the rating lower.&uot;

Phillips said many things go into the fire rating for a particular station.

&uot;Manpower, equipment and a lot of stuff comes into play,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;Our ultimate goal is to get it down at any time.&uot;

If a fire station were added in the future, more firemen would naturally be needed. Phillips said the new station would have about the same amount of fireman as the existing stations.

&uot;We would need a minimum of nine,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;That’s the least we would need.&uot;

The new factories have set their scale for expansion for a period of three to five years.

Phillips sees this time frame as when a new station will probably become necessary.

&uot;We just have to see how the growth goes,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;If it happens it will likely be in the next three to five years.&uot;

Phillips said when the time comes city officials will sit down and look over the situation.

&uot;We’ll probably just evaluate the situation when the growth stabilizes and see where it needs to be,&uot; said Phillips. &uot;We’ll look at the new factories and plants and evaluate the whole situation.&uot;

Phillips said when all the pieces fall together the state will be contacted to help establish a location.

&uot;One of the things we will do is contact the Insurance Services Office,&uot; aid Phillips. &uot;They are the ones that actually grade our city and we’ll consult with them on where they think we’ll get the most credit for the third station and where the location should be.&uot;

Phillips hopes that by getting an early jump on the evaluation process, the city will be ready when the time comes.