News Archive

Piedmont fire engines dedicated
during 9/11 Memorial service

In addition to remembering the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, a community memorial service held at the Piedmont Fire Department on Sept. 11 also recognized Piedmont firefighters and included the dedication of two new fire engines recently purchased by the Piedmont Public Service District.

The new vehicles will replace a 1991 model pumper and a 1983 pumper that are presently in service, according to Piedmont Fire Chief Butch Nichols.

The trucks were purchased from Emergency 1 of Ocala, Florida.

Commissioners approved the $290,520 purchase of the two pumper trucks in March.

The trucks were outfitted with equipment and hoses already in use by the department and placed into service just prior to the memorial service.

Nichols said the 2002 Freightliner Emergency 1 pumper trucks are identical except one is a two door model and the other is a  four door .

The vehicles are being purchased without a tax increase to residents, officials said.

Low interest rates and the fact that the last vehicle purchased has recently been paid off made it a good time to upgrade, according to Chief Nichols.

Nichols said the department paid off the last truck purchase by the District, a 1991 model, earlier this year.

The four door vehicle will be stationed at the Piedmont Fire Headquarters on Hwy. 86 and the 2 door truck will be stationed at Station #2 located on Piedmont Golf Course Road..

The trucks include a 1,500 gallon per minute pump, a 1000 gallon polyvinyl water tank with a lifetime warranty and a caterpillar engine on a 2002 Freightliner chassis.

Assistant Chief Tracy Wallace said the vehicles are “good working trucks and in a reasonable price range.”

Two older trucks that served as reserve vehicles, a 1975 model and 1972 model, will be sold, Wallace said. The 1991 and 1983 vehicles will now be placed on reserve.

During the memorial service, Wallace recognized Piedmont firefighters and presented a history of the Piedmont Fire Department.

“Firefighting is one of the world’s most honored but hazardous occupations,” Wallace said, Firefighting requires a high sense of personal dedication, a genuine desire to help people, and a high level of skill.”

“Whenever there is an emergency, the fire department is one of the first to arrive. Emergencies involve not only fires, but incidents such as auto accidents, rescue operations, medical emergencies, hazardous material incidents and building collapses.”

Chief Nichols and John Mitchell of  E-One then presented the two new fire engines which the District recently placed into service.

Piedmont Public Service District Commissioner Al McAbee dedicated Engine One to the citizens of Piedmont, “for their willingness to support the department” and Engine Two “to all the firemen past and present,” and to Chief Butch Nichols who has served the department for 36 years.

Piedmont firefighters include: Chief Jerry L. Nichols; Assistant Chief Tracy B. Wallace; Capt. Bobby Higgins, Capt. Norman Wynn, Lt. Terry Yates, Lt. Grady Reeves, Lt. Dustin Allen.

Also Craig Lawless, engineer/inspector/paramedic; Joey Gillespie, engineer/inspector/EMT; Eric Shirley, engineer, paramedic and engineers: Mark McClain, James H. Hyde, Jason Thompson, Robert Bolden, Dustin Grogan, dispatcher.

Sylvia D. Brown, is the administrative assistant.

Volunteer firefighters at the Piedmont Fire Department include: Lt. Alan Rampey, Gene Allen, Wilton Davis, Alan Bleucis, Patrick Peden, Calvin Duckett, Curt Gautier, Al McAbee, Byron Wynn, Clayton Allen, Steve Hudson, George Hudson, George Wessel.

Other volunteers include Grady Davis, traffic; Pete Hawthorne, mechanic and Stan Styles, maintenance.

Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners include Al McAbee, Fred Glenn, C. E. “Ed” Poore Jr., J. C. “Goob” Turner and Marsha Rogers, Chairman.

Bonnie Merritt and M. O. Howard serve as trustees.

The following history of the department was presented by Assistant Chief Wallace during the service:

1948 - J. P. Stevens Company formed the Piedmont Fire Department. Equipment included a 1948 Chevrolet Peter Pirsh fire truck and shop employees served as firefighters.

1971 - A 1971 Ford John Beam fire truck apparatus was purchased. It was kept in the mill parking lot.

1972 - Construction was started on a fire department in the old mill parking lot on Hwy. 86. The depratment has an ISO rating of Class 9.

1973 - The new station was dedicated, the first paid fire chief was hired and the department had an $8,000 budget and an ISO Class 5 rating.

1975 - A 1975 Ford John Beam fire truck was purchased.

1977 - Three firefighters and a fire chief was hired.

1981 - Construction was started on Station #2 on Golf Course Road. Three firefighters were hired to man the station and one fire prevention officer were hired. A service truck was added at headquarters and ISO rating was Class 3.

1983 -  A 1983 Ford Boyer fire truck was purchased.

1985 - Three dispatchers were hired.

1992 - Three additional firefighters were hired.

1993 - New facilities were built at headquarters.

1996 - A new Ford 350 EVI service truck was purchased.

1998 - New computers for records, mapping and hazmat response were added.

2002 - Two Freightliner E-One fire trucks were purchased.

The department currently has 10 paid firefighters, three dispatch/firefighters, one assistant chief, one fire chief/administrator, one administrative assistant, 15 volunteer firefighters. The 2002 budget is $896,000 and the department has an ISO rating of Class 3.

 

Approximately 75 people attended the Sept. 11 community memorial service Wednesday morning at the Piedmont Fire Department.

In addition to remembering the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the service recognized Piedmont firefighters and ended with the dedication of two new fire engines.

Piedmont Fire Chief Butch Nichols welcomed those in attendance and asked for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.

Dwayne Strickland presented music, Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning.

Piedmont Public Service District  Chairperson Marsha Rogers made comments and remembered when she heard of the events and how it affected her. She also mentioned the $10,000 in donations for 9/11 victims’ families collected by Piedmont firefighters from Piedmont area residents shortly after the incident.

Piedmont firefighters Lt. Dusty Allen and Lt. Terry Yates then lowered the station flag to half staff while Scott Fesperson and David Freeman played taps.

Rogers then led the crowd as they sang God Bless America.

Piedmont Commissioner and firefighter Al McAbee then spoke on the events of Sept. 11.

Sylvia Brown recognized state and local officials including Rep. Dan Cooper, Rep. Dan Tripp, Anderson County Council representative Bill Dees, Greenville County Councilman “Bunk” Johnson, Piedmont Commissioners Fred Glenn, Al McAbee, C. E. “Ed” Poore Jr., J. C. Goob Turner, Marsha Rogers, Piedmont consultant Rusty Burns and several Greenville County deputies in attendance.

Assistant Fire Chief Tracy Wallace recognized Piedmont firefighters and presented a history of the Piedmont Fire Department.

Chief Nichols and John Mitchell of  E-One then presented the two new fire engines which the District recently placed into service.

During the dedication, McAbee dedicated Engine One to the citizens of Piedmont, “for their willingness to support the department” and Engine Two “to all the firemen past and present,” and to Chief Butch Nichols who has served the department for 36 years.

McAbee said the trucks are identical except Engine One is a four door cab and Engine Two is a two door cab.

Kart race at Possum Kingdom
is on of largest in U. S.

One of the biggest kart racing events in the United States is coming to the new Possum Kingdom Super Speedway this weekend.

Featuring a $51,000 total purse, and 700 to 1000 race entries, the “Big Kahuna” dirt championship promises to be one of the largest kart racing events,  according to track co-owner Tim Ellison.

In addition to two days of racing action, the event will feature more than 35 of the top kart drivers in the country in a 50 lap race with a $5,000 purse and will draw participants from all over the country.

In the big event, top racers will compete in a 25 lap race, stop to refuel and continue with another 25 laps, Ellison said.

The race is co-sponsored by James Moore and track owners Tim Ellison, Greg Cothran and Paul Cothran.

Gates will open Sept. 20 at 8 a.m. and Sept. 21 at 6 a.m. with practice beginning at 8 a.m.

Other purses will vary from $60 to $3,000.

Directions: from Hwy. 25 at Ware Place, take Hwy. 247, turn left onto Acker Rd. becide Fire Dept., track is .5 miles on the right.

Admission is $15 per person, with age 10 and under admitted free.

This is one of the biggest kart racing events in the Country,” Ellison said. “There will be people from all over.”

The Possum Kingdom Super Speedway opened gates for the first official night of kart racing July 27 and already has proven itself a favorite of many racers because of the speed of the track and the facilities which are race and spectator friendly.

The new facility is one of the largest and nicest in the U. S., with a    1/4 mile oval dirt track for kart racers and a concession stand, restaurant and clean restroom facilities for spectators.

A fully stocked restaurant serves old fashioned cut french fries, hotdogs with homemade chili, hamburgers, fresh pizza, cotton candy, and has seating for up to 60 people.

The track includes spectator stand seating for 360 people, or spectators can bring their own chairs.

The track has lights. It is also fast. Stock division racers reach speeds of 65 mph, modifieds up to 80 mph, and the 2 cycle racers can reach speeds in excess of 100 mph.

For more information call (864) 847-1756.

 

 


 

 

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