Making the Case for a New Fire Hall
The brass fire pole won’t reappear in a new fire hall should voters agree to build a new facility – images 250News
Prince George, B.C. – In a little over a month from now, voters in Prince George will be asked if they support borrowing up to $15 million dollars to build a new Fire Hall #1. Prince George Fire Rescue Chief, John Iverson is hopeful residents will say yes.
While the public is invited Saturday to tour the old fire hall, and visit the proposed site for the new one , members of the media were taken on a tour today. First stop was a look at the ladder truck. It’s a standard piece of equipment, necessary to reach the upper floors of buildings like the office towers in downtown Prince George, but the ladder truck can’t fit inside the existing bay doors at Firehall #1, so it has to be stored at Fire Hall #2 instead.
“This truck is 20 years old and is fairly standard equipment , but it will not fit” says Chief John Iverson “It’s just one of the many things we are trying to manage our resources and provide service.”
The many other things include:
- Cramped spaces, including a physical fitness room that includes a desk and a few chairs for training sessions.
- The dispatch centre , which serves a number of communities throughout the north, is too small for the work it must do.
- The building itself does not meet current standards to ensure it would still be standing should there be a disaster.
- It’s in the flood plain, and during heavy melt or rain events, water makes its way into the bays.
- The ‘tower’ where hoses are dried after use, is made of cinderblock, not in keeping with current standards and other methods are now used to dry hoses.
- The conference room showed just how small it really is, during the recent wildfire emergency. With all the agencies involved in coping with the emergency attending planning and information meetings, representatives packed the room like sardines. The meetings had to be moved to City Hall.
Then there is the matter of response times. Chief Iverson says moving to the proposed site on Massey ( near the YMCA) will cut response times in half for the areas Fire Hall #1 services. Reduced response times means firefighters have a better chance of containing a blaze to the “room of origin” and critical seconds and minutes can be saved when responding to a call that requires medical attention.
( below, Chief Iverson says current building not up to disaster standards)
“The general condition of this building? It’s tired” says Chief John Iverson “The building is 60 years old” says Chief Iverson “It has simply reached the end of its lifespan.”
Should the voters say yes to building a new facility, will Chief Iverson miss the old site? “Not at all.”