90th Anniversary

WHEREAS, Tryon City was chartered as an icorporated municipality on March 11, 1885 by the North Carolina General Assembly and renamed Town of Tryon by amendment of that charter in 1920; and

WHEREAS, from Tryon’s earliest history, residents and neighbors joined together voluntarily to help each other in times of fire and emergency; and

WHEREAS, in 1910, donations by Tryon businesses and individuals provided funds to purchase three hose reels, placed at Melrose Avenue, Godshaw Hill and in mill town to assist townspeople volunteers in fighting fires that broke out in the Town; and

WHEREAS, in 1911, the community purchased a ladder wagon that could be pulled by horses or people as available and in 1913 the first fire truck was purchased; and

WHEREAS, volunteer fire fighters began organizing as early as 1917, were recognized and had a Chief, an Assistant Chief and a Secretary-Treasurer officially approved by the Town of Tryon Town Commission on April 22, 1920; and

WHEREAS, on April 22, 1922, the Tryon Fire Department was officially recognized as a charted fire department through the State of North Carolina Insurance Department with ten volunteer firefighters led by Fire Chief Hill and Assistant Chief W. A. Wilson; and

WHEREAS, the first fire department building was located on Maple Street where the fire bell, acquired in 1911 and now residing in front of the current Tryon Fire Department building, had a cable attached strung from the nearby telephone company office so that, when a call came in, the telephone operator could alert the firefighters at the station by pulling the cable to ring the bell; and

WHEREAS, in 1923 a second fire truck, a Ford-American LaFrance, was purchased and in 1925 a third fire truck on a Graham Brothers chassis was purchased; and

WHEREAS, in late 1926 the Tryon Fire Department volunteers were reorganized and operated from the Town Hall building complex on Maple Street where the new trucks were housed with a large new electric siren installed to give alarms in case of fire; and

WHEREAS, in 1937 a Mack fire truck was purchased and delivered by rail and unloaded at the Tryon Depot on Pacolet Street and in 1948 the Department purchased a new open cab Ford Chassis and equipped it with a front mount pump and rear mount 300 gallon tank; and

WHEREAS, in 1954, the local telephone company arranged for ten fire phones to be installed in the businesses where the firemen worked for notification of a fire and arranged to switch these lines to the ten firemen’s residences for notification at night with a special single long continuous ring designating a fire call, these phones being used up until 1979 when the department acquired pagers; and

WHEREAS, members of the Tryon Fire Department have served as officers in the Western North Carolina Association of Firefighters, Wayne Creasman as President in 1954 and Joey Davis as Secretary from 2005 to 2009; and

WHEREAS, in 1979 the Tryon Fire Department improved the department’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating from 6/9 to 5/9, retained that rating through the present and is currently the only Polk County fire department with a Class 5 rating; and

WHEREAS, the Tryon Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary was recognized during its existence as one of the top programs in the state; and

WHEREAS, Tryon Fire Department has had 27 different fire chiefs over its 90 years, has had a strong history of multi-generational family members serving with the Department and currently numbers among its active members Assistant Chief Marshall Lipscomb, the first African American to serve in Tryon Fire Department and the first African American to serve as a chief fire officer in Polk County, and Kimberley Pack the first female to serve as an elected officer in the Tryon Fire Department; and

WHEREAS, the Tryon Fire Department currently has a paid fire chief hired by the Town who reports to the Town Manager and Town Council who oversee the budget, and line officers, the Deputy Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, Captains and Lieutenants, elected by the volunteer members, and

WHEREAS, current Fire Chief Joey Davis has been awarded the designation of Chief Fire Officer by the Commission on Professional Credentialing, and is one of only 787 in the world to hold this recognition, in addition to holding a Masters Degree in Public Administration; and

WHEREAS, today the Tryon Fire Department now resides at its station behind Tryon Town Hall at 56 West Howard Street with a fleet of three engines, one tanker, one service truck one brush truck, a recently acquired all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and a command vehicle and provides both fire protection and emergency medical first responder services in conjunction with Polk County Emergency Services; and

WHEREAS, the Tryon Fire Department currently protects the area of the Town of Tryon, Tryon Township and a portion of the Foothills Fire District located in Greenville County, SC; and

WHEREAS, the Tryon Fire Department has entered into mutual aid agreements with Spartanburg County SC, Landrum Fire Department, Columbus Fire Department, Saluda Fire Department, Green Creek Fire Department, Mill Spring Fire Department, Sunny View Fire Department and Polk County Emergency Medical Services; and

WHEREAS, the Tryon Fire Department currently handles approximately one thousand calls per year; and

WHEREAS, April  22, 2012 marks the 90th anniversary of the original Tryon Fire Department Charter;

AND NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, I, J. Alan Peoples, Mayor of the Town of Tryon, North Carolina, do hereby proclaim the year from January 1, 2012 to December 30, 2012 to be the

Official 90th Anniversary Celebration for the Tryon Fire Department

in order to increase public awareness of the heroic service and continuing community contributions the Tryon Fire Department offers to Tryon’s citizens and all the residents of the Tryon Fire Department’s service district and to encourage their active participation in the yearlong celebration of Tryon Fire Department and its history.

Adopted the 20th Day of December 2012.



J. Alan Peoples,

Mayor of Tryon, North Carolina

In Witness, Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Town of Tryon to be affixed at the Tryon Town Hall, North Carolina this 20th Day of December 2011.