Pitt Meadows’ new firehall continues to get closer to its completion date, and various members of the community were invited to an Oct. 4 press conference to get a sneak peek at the project’s progress.
This event featured all seven members of Pitt Meadows city council, including retiring Mayor Bill Dingwall and mayor-elect Nicole MacDonald, two Pitt Meadows deputy fire chiefs, the president of the IAFF Local 4810 Pitt Meadows firefighters union, and various other members of government and heads of the construction project.
Amidst the active construction site of the new three-storey, 25,000 square-foot firehall, Dingwall welcomed the small crowd and praised the potential of the new building.
“This new state-of-the-art facility will provide a much improved and healthy work environment, a modern emergency operation centre (EOC) for first responders, and EOC staff that will enhance communications and services during emergencies in our region,” said Dingwall.
Mayor-elect Nicole MacDonald agreed with Dingwall’s statement, calling the new firehall a “significant step in the right direction.”
Dingwall explained that a new firehall was something the community had been needing for quite some time and said the project received universal approval from council.
“When you’re dealing with city council, it’s quite often hard to get a unanimous vote, and that’s a good thing for democracy and the community,” he said.
“But in this particular case, it was a unanimous decision by this council to not only build this brand new firehall, but to invest in our fire services. So, I’m particularly proud of my colleagues as we move forward to meet the needs of the future.”
Both Dingwall and deputy fire chief Dave Biggin explained that an improvement in firefighter safety was desperately needed from the old firehall.
“The old building was undersized and had firefighters changing into their gear in the same area as the trucks, which is not great for health reasons,” said Dingwall.
“This new facility is one of the few to have a built-in emergency operation centre that all emergency services will have access to.”
Mark Roberts, Pitt Meadows’ chief administrative officer, acknowledged the materials being used in the construction of the building.
“Wood is featured very prominently in this building, as you can see here,” said Roberts. “It’s a theme we’re trying to introduce in our new city buildings. It is a priority to incorporate and showcase natural materials that support low-carbon construction choices.”
With the majority of the building’s framework now complete, Dingwall said that the project is still on schedule to be completed in late 2022 or early 2023.
He also reassured those in attendance that the project is still on budget, having used only 50 per cent of its contingency.
“At a time when COVID and supply demands are making everything more difficult, being on a budget is a great accomplishment, and I have to congratulate all of our team for making it happen,” said Dingwall.
“And doing it didn’t involve a tax increase either.”
Once the new firehall is completed, Biggin said that the Pitt Meadows Fire & Rescue Services team wants to move in “as fast as possible” noting the team already has a move-in plan in place.
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