Fire response times to improve with brand new building
Oct 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm in News by tyler.king
Response times for fires in Gregoire and Beacon Hill should start getting better, thanks to the municipality’s new fire hall on Airport Road.
It was officially opened today as part of the two-storey public safety building that will also house a fire training centre and the headquarters for Regional Emergency Services.
Regional Fire Chief Greg MacMillan says the new Fire Hall 5 will make a major difference.
“We’re going to have greater access to Highway 881; in the south, when Saline Creek builds out, we’ll have greater access, and be able to increase service in Saprae Creek also,” said MacMillan.
It’ll also make an immediate difference within the Fort McMurray urban service area.
“For years, with Fire Hall 2 being assigned as a communication centre, we had to respond from Fire Hall 1 [to fires in Gregoire and Beacon Hill],” said MacMillan. “So we’ve now captured all those pieces for response times that we’ve been trying to do for the last several years.”
Mayor Melissa Blake says the RMWB will also make great use of the building.
“It also will take care of the maintenance for all of our fleet vehicles,” she said. “That’s a very highly specialized service, but this is the facility that’s designed to do the right work.”
It took six years to build at a cost of 23 million dollars.
The building is home to Fire Prevention, Emergency Management, Safety Codes, Regional Emergency Services, Administration, RES Training, Fleet Maintenance, and a temporary home for Aboriginal, Rural and Citizens Relations.
One of the buildings structures MacMillan noted as noteworthy is the training tower at the west end of the building.
“Within that tower we incorporated a fire-fit training stair-well,” he continues, “in May our fire fit team decided to use it to its fullest, and this summer in one of the events they participated in, they were crowned national champs.”
It is LEED® Gold certified and has been registered with the Canadian Green Building Council as a candidate.
Blake says that that’s a relief, “ because that’s what we’re mandating for our downtown, council passed that land use by-law this past spring,”
“If you can’t walk the talk, you shouldn’t make others try to take that stride.”
The building incorporates sustainable design such as energy-efficient mechanical systems, power-saving electrical fixtures, radiant in-floor heating, low water consumption plumbing fixtures, office lighting motion sensor switches, triple-glazed windows and a rainwater capture holding tank to wash the trucks.
The ceremony ended with Chief MacMillan and Mayor Melissa Blake, along with council members who made it, uncouple the hose, which traditionally signifies the opening of a fire hall.
October 23rd, 2012