Tryon Fire Department Receives Rotary Foundation Grant

The Rotary Club of Tryon Foundation funds projects in our area and around the world that support the ideals of Rotary. During this week’s meeting, the Rotary Club of Tryon Foundation awarded a grant of $3,200 to the Tryon Fire Department.

The grant was awarded to honor the work of the late Geoffrey Tennant. Mr Tennant served as Fire Chief in both Tryon and Columbus where he helped transition the departments into the organizations they are today.

Before the award presentation, Tryon Fire Chief James Waters talked about the transition from a department focused on fighting fires to a department prepared for many types of emergencies. Chief Waters explained that the department is still prepared to fight a structure fire, but with current building safety standards these are not very common. He went on to explain that the department gets called out more often to fight brush fires, assist in weather related emergencies, or rescue injured hikers in the hard to reach parts of the county.

The Tryon Fire Department will use the grant to help fund the purchase of equipment needed for their new mission. The Rotary Club of Tryon is honored to recognize the contributions of the late Chief Tennant and support the future work of the Tryon Fire Department.

During the recognition ceremony, Rotarian Skip Taylor and Rotary Foundation Chair Barbara Smith awarded the grant to Tryon Fire Chief James Walters and Tryon Town Manager Zach Ollis. Mrs. Alice Tennant was present at the ceremony honoring her late husband.

Dave Scherping, James Waters, Zach Ollis, Barbara Smith, Alice Tennant, Skip Taylor

The Rotary Club of Tryon meets Thursday at noon at the Tryon Presbyterian Church. If you are interested in joining the Club, please contact President Stacey Lindsay at 864-360-6170 or

The video of the Chief Water’s presentation and the award ceremony are included below.

Chief James Waters – Tryon Fire Departement
Rotarians presenting award to Tryon Fire Department