Green Creek Fire Department to celebrate 50 years Saturday

Published 12:02 am Friday, July 18, 2014


by Claire Sachse

Most organizations are lucky to have members who stay a decade. Green Creek Fire Department is celebrating on Saturday their fifth decade with a firefighter who has been there since the doors opened in 1964.

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William Henry Page served as chief for a total of 27 years during the station’s 50 year span, guiding the department through many changes and challenges. From the first fire truck, a 1942 Chevrolet pumper and 15 volunteers, Page saw the department’s mission grow, necessitating the addition of numerous equipment. Today, the station operates three certified pumpers, three water tankers with 1,000 to 1,500 gallon capacities, a service truck with command post, an ambulance, a first response truck and two brush trucks. The department’s staff has grown to more than 40 personnel, all of whom are volunteers.

Page was chief when the department opened its substation in September 1997. It is located east of the main station at 2840 Chesnee Rd.

“I have definitely enjoyed being in the fire department from day one,” said Page, who lives two doors away from the fire department on land that he farms. A married grandfather of six, he is considered the historian of the department and remembers many incidents and calls from his career.

The fires at Sandy Springs Church, caused by lightning, and at the Westbrook cotton gin formerly located across from Green Creek Farm Supply, stood out in his mind while recollecting his years on the job.

When the cotton gin burned in the 1960s, the fire was so hot it melted the tail lights on the 1942 Chevrolet pumper truck.

He also remembered receiving a call to aid a woman in labor.

The baby was delivered by a paramedic before the mother could be transported to the hospital, as he stood by watching.

“I wouldn’t take nothing for it,” said Page, reflecting on his long career. “If I had my time to do over I’d still be there. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Michael Herman is the current chief of the department.

As the station prepares to commemorate the past 50 years of service he noted that members’ attention is also focused on the future.

“We’re fixing for big growth with the Tryon Resort,” Herman said, adding that the county and the department are planning another station in the resort’s vicinity.

This new station will require additional personnel.

The station’s members also will be receiving year-long rescue technician training starting in November which will include swift water and high angle training.

The public is invited to the community celebration on July 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Green Creek Fire Department, located at 8645 Hwy. 9 South.

Food, children’s activities, musical entertainment and an open house are planned.

“This is our way of giving back to the community to thank them for supporting us,” said Herman. Both current and past chiefs will be at the celebration to welcome visitors.