Private, government partnership funds fire department ATV

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — The Travelers Rest Fire Dept. recently added an all-purpose ATV to its fleet, the product of a private/government partnership that funded the $28K acquisition.

According to Fire Chief Richard Johnson, the growing use of the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail made the need for a similarly-purposed vehicle a growing necessity, and he said the opportunity arose to purchase a vendor's demo model at cost.

The ATV — a road-ready, four-seat, four-wheel-drive 2014 Polaris, complete with firefighting foam tanks, reels, nozzles, and brush fire tools — has many uses, including rescue, EMS, and fire suppression. But Johnson said its availability came at a less than opportune time: after the start of a new budget year.

Eager to not pass up the opportunity, Johnson and City Administrator Dianna Turner decided to turn to area businesses and individuals, offering a chance to sponsor the city-owned vehicle to help pay for the purchase.

"A lot of people in the community really stepped up and supported what we were doing," Chief Johnson said. "I didn't have one person say 'no'."

Turner said the sponsorships accounted for about 50 percent of the purchase price. The remaining amount was approved by Travelers Rest City Council to be funded with money from the Greenville County accommodations tax fund.

Corporate and private sponsors include North Greenville Hospital, Steve Borklund State Farm Insurance, North Greenville Fitness & Cardiac Rehabilitation, Bank of Travelers Rest, St. John Chiropractic, Compu-Counting, Ken Shupe, Dist. 17 Rep. Mike Burns, Howze Mortuary, Whistle Stop at the American Cafe, Joe Hawkins, Zipp Hanna, George Coleman Ford, and Walt Brazier.