About Whitney Fire Dept.
Whitney Fire Department was organized in 1958 at a meeting held at the First Baptist Church of Whitney. Whitney Fire Department’s first station was a two-bay, white cinderblock building next door to the Whitney Elementary School. Whitney’s first apparatus was Engine 1 (a 1958 Ford American LaFrance) and Tanker 3 (International Tanker). Whitney was the third department in Spartanburg County to charter a Rescue Squad. Whitney requested the use of the number 2 for an ambulance (Rescue 2, an old military truck); however on May 17, 2005 Whitney Fire Department Commission Board voted to dissolve its ambulance (Rescue 2) after almost 50 years of service.
In the late 1960’s a wreck on Barnwell Road rendered Engine 1 unfit for service. The department then purchased Engine 4 (a 1967 Ford American LaFrance). The members of the department rebuilt Engine 1, remounting it with a 1959 model cab. This year was also when Whitney Fire Department joined the South Carolina Firemen’s Association.
The Whitney Area Fire Protection Association was formed by a referendum in 1964 that allowed the department to start collecting taxes on all taxable property at a rate of 3 mills. In 1969, Whitney Fire Department district passed another referendum to increase the tax millage by 1 mill for a total of 4 mills. The new revenue produced from this millage increase was used to construct a new 4 bay fire station at 220 Bryant Road (Our current location). In 1981 the Fire station was dedicated in memory of a founding member and Fire Chief T. Wayne Early, who was tragically lost in a motor vehicle accident. The new 4 bay addition was built in the late 1980`s, giving Whitney a total of 8 bays. In the Fall of 2012, the station was completely renovated and expanded with the future of our district in mind. The new station became a reality when it was first occupied on October 31, 2013.
In 1985 the department purchased a 1985 Ward Fire Engine (Engine 2). A second engine was purchased in 1992 (a Quality, which is currently Engine 1) to replace the 1959 Ford American LaFrance Pumper. In that same year the department also purchased a 1992 Dodge Brush Truck (Brush 1) and an International Tanker (T3). These trucks replaced the oldest trucks of Whitney’s fleet (Trucks 3 and 5). A 1992 Service Truck was also purchased.
The old refurbished Army Brush Truck 5 was given back to the South Carolina Forestry Commission, and the old refurbished Army Tanker was sold. In 2001 Whitney replaced the 1992 International Tanker with a 2001 Freightliner. A 2004 Ford F250 4×4 quad cab was purchased in 2003. A third engine was purchased in 2006 (a Crimson, which is currently Engine 4) to replace 1967 Ford American LaFrance Pumper. In August 2007, the 1985 Ward Fire Engine (Engine 2) became a reserve engine.
In 2004, Chief Petras started implementing a plan to become a combination fire department. The first step was to hire a part time Fire Chief to oversee the daily operations of the department. A referendum to increase the tax millage by 12 mills was approved in 2004 giving Whitney a tax millage of 16. Whitney used the revenue from the millage increase to completely convert Whitney to a combination fire department and hire 3 paid daytime personnel. Later, Whitney was able to provide around the clock (24 hour) coverage with paid staff. Whitney members and commissioners are devoted and determined to provide the best professional service and protection to the citizens of Whitney Fire District and Spartanburg County.