Telus was able to connect to dispatch at around 11:30 this morning and firefighters will be spending their first night in their new home Wednesday night.
“Crews have been down here doing work, we’ve been responding from here already, but it’s just nice to have everything in one spot,” says Fire Chief Fred Burrows. “It’s nice that everything’s back together again.”
Office administration was moved over in early December 2013, along with cleanup equipment, but the apparatus needed to fight a fire remained at the old hall. During that time they would respond to a call from the 100 Avenue location and cleanup and refill air bottles down 93rd. The apparatus, along with all the firefighters’ gear and personal items were all that was left to take down today.
Drivers that use 93 Street will have to take notice of the new flashing lights set up outside the hall, and should drive according to weather conditions in the event they come on, to avoid a situation like one some years ago when a vehicle drove into a fire truck.
“People that typically drive here don’t use 100th Avenue so they’ve got to get used to the traffic light and us departing and going back in,” explains Burrows. “This is a very good spot to get in and out of because the apron is probably more than twice as big as what we had so the amount of time we’ll actually have to spend out on the street is way less in time backing in.”
Any visitors to the new hall can park in the lot to the east of the building with access off of 93 Street. A sign to make the public aware of its closure will soon be put up at the old hall, which the City is holding on to.
Construction on the new fire hall began in September 2011, and it was anticipated that it would be ready by spring of summer this year, but a snowy winter and rainy spring pushed the move-in date to this winter. As of September 9, the projected final budget for the project was estimated at $12,733,029. The original budget was set for $10.5 million, but an additional $1.4 million came from budget shortfalls for construction and project contingencies, project management, and site servicing, as well as $350,000 for other initiatives like geo-thermal and City owned fibre connectivity.