Hilltop Fire District
1283 Asheville Highway
Spartanburg, SC 29303
P.O. Box 6411
Spartanburg, SC 29304
 
(864) 585-1111
staff@hilltopfiredistrict.com
 
Organized in 1957 and chartered on February 5, 1958, as Hilltop Area Volunteer Fire Department we began protecting the lives and property of the people living in the Hilltop Community.  We began with one truck, a 1958 American LaFrance and a two bay station facing Asheville Hwy.  The station was built from either donated building supplies or from items purchased through fundraising events.  In May of 1961 Hilltop Rescue Squad was added to care for the medical needs of the people of the Community.

In March of 1966, Hilltop Area Volunteer Fire Department became Hilltop Fire District under the establishment of a Special Purpose District for the State of South Carolina.  Special Purpose Districts were established by legislation to give the people living outside the city legal means to provide services.  The legislation gave the fire department more local control with a five member Board of Commissioners made up of people living in the community.  This also allowed the fire department to operate from tax millage levied on the people residing within the legal boundary of the fire district.  The beginning millage in 1966 was four (4) mils.

A referendum was held in November of 1976 to increase the millage rate to six mils to help offset the increasing fuel cost and maintenance of the equipment.  A 1977 Bean Pumper was also added at this time.

In November of 1986, the department held another referendum that increased the millage to 16 mils to enable the department to purchase a 1988 Mack Pumper and other equipment to help the growing needs of the district.  The 1958 American LaFrance pumper was retired to storage but is still at the department and kept in running order.  Hilltop Fire District’s biggest step forward in the history of the department was a referendum held in August 1994 to issue bonds to complete construction on a new fire station, to purchase a new fire truck and to add two paid firemen during the day due to the lack of volunteers.  The referendum passed overwhelming thanks to the people of the district and we purchased a 1994 Pierce Pumper and construction of the present building began.  The building was completed and dedicated on April 28, 1996.  The two paid firemen were hired and began work on April 1st of the same year.

In August of 1999 due to the lack of volunteers to maintain the Rescue Squad and increased regulations, Rescue 5 was permanently placed out of service.  The ambulance was sold to Spartanburg County EMS and in November of 1999 they began to house a unit in the old station of Hilltop Fire District.

Due to the construction of motels and apartment complexes in the district and a need to keep the ISO rating down, a 1995 American LaFrance Ladder truck was purchased in 1999.  This brought the total vehicles to ten that the district owned.

With the decrease in the volunteers on the rise, in November 2000, another referendum was held to increase the millage from 16 to 22 mils to provide paid firemen 24 hours a day and add First Response services.  This referendum passed and on January 1, 2002 we began the 24 hour coverage with two firemen with medical training to provide fire and medical coverage.

In May 2004, a new American LaFrance pumper was added to the department and the 1988 Mack became a reserve engine at that time.  The 1977 Bean pumper was sold to a fire department in a neighboring county.  The new American LaFrance was uniquely designed to handle all calls from one truck.

From our beginning in 1957 with an all-volunteer department to today with a combination pf paid, paid part-time and volunteers, we continue to strive to make the fire department the best that we possibly can to provide the services that the people of the Hilltop community deserve.  A referendum was held on November 2, 2004 to increase the millage from 22 mils to 30 mils.  This increase has become necessary due to mandated testing, cost of equipment and the loss of assessed value of the district.  A positive referendum was obtained by the people again and will help the department continue to provide the level of service that is needed.

In November of 2006 the department took a big step in going to an elected Board of Commissioners.  The elected board would give the department more control of the department by the people of the district.  The first election was held for four year terms for the three highest vote receivers and one year terms for the last two vote receivers.   This would stagger the terms of the Board of Commissioners so that elections would be held in even number years.  The board is now established with all Commissioners serving four year terms.

The Board of Commissioners felt in 2010 a referendum was needed to purchase several pieces of equipment and sale older pieces of equipment.  The referendum passed and we purchased a 2012 Pierce Pumper, a new Chevrolet Silverado four wheel drive crew cab pickup truck and a new 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Fire Chief’s vehicle was purchased.  Equipment for the new pumper was purchased and it was decided that the new pickup truck could be used as part of a support services vehicle and a 2012 Xtra Trailer was purchased and equipped for this service.

With the purchase of the new equipment it was decided that we needed to sale some of the older equipment.  The old service truck was sold, the 1988 Mack Pumper was sold, the old Ford pickup truck was sold, the old ambulance that had served as a Ladies Support vehicle was sold and the old Chief’s vehicle was sold.  This reduced the number of vehicles that the department owned and lowered the insurance premiums.

Over the years the people of the Hilltop community have continued to be supportive of the services that we provide.  To them we are most humbly appreciative and we are proud to serve.
Hilltop Fire District History
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Hilltop Fire District