By Alan M. Petrillo

The Greenville-Spartanburg (SC) International Airport Rescue and Firefighting Department has moved into its new $9 million fire station and emergency operations center—a 24,000-square foot facility from which the department covers 3,700 acres of airport property for aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF), structural and wildland firefighting, medical and technical rescue, confined space and hazardous materials incidents, and motor vehicle accidents.

Tony Lohrman, Greenville-Spartanburg’s chief, says the department was in dire need of a new station. “The old 8,000-square foot station was built in 1962 and was renovated in the 1980s because the size of apparatus was growing,” Lohrman observes. “It also wasn’t measuring up with more firefighters using it because it had a single bathroom with one shower and a single gang bunk room with bunk beds.”

The new station, Lohrman points out, houses 23 paid firefighters operating on a 24/48 shift schedule and has five double-deep, drive-through apparatus bays that can hold four ARFF trucks, a Type 1 structural engine, a heavy rescue/hazmat truck, a wildland engine, a foam trailer, and command and support vehicles. He adds that the department expects to take delivery of two new Rosenbauer Panther 1,500-gallon Panther ARFF trucks in April.

Michael Pry, principal at DP3 Architects, says that DP3 provided local design assistance services for the new station, working with the lead design architect, Leo A. Daly. “We were chosen as associate architects on the project because of our fire station experience,” Pry notes. “We worked with Leo A. Daly to develop the design and layout of the new station and assisted them with construction administration. Leo A. Daly led the design effort and provided the architectural and engineering construction documents.”

Pry continues, “Because we were on the airport campus, the finish materials and colors had to be consistent with the history of the campus style, so the new station has a flat roof, like other airport buildings. We used exterior insulation finishing system material on the outside of the building, which has a stucco-like finish that’s colored to match other airport buildings. The painted block on the apparatus bays is naturally white, and there’s blue trim on the metal coping, canopies, and roofing.”

The new station has a 2,300-square foot mezzanine for storage over the apparatus bay, which also incorporates training elements such as an open balcony with removable rails for ladder and rope work and a manhole down into a locker room for rescue and confined space work, Pry says. “The heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system is designed with positive pressure to keep contaminants out of the living spaces,” he adds. “There are air scrubbers and MagneGrip exhaust vents in the apparatus bays and Rytech high-speed rollup doors on the bays that open in 1.6 seconds.”

Lohrman notes that DP3 replaced the single gang bunk room with 10 individual bunk rooms and added five individual unisex bathrooms with showers. The station has a large kitchen with a dining area and an exercise room in the living quarters area for firefighters. On the public-accessible side of the building is a state-of-the-art training room featuring seating for 49 persons, two large television screens, an integrated touch screen smart board with a webcam system, an administrative area, and two public bathrooms.

ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona,-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.