Plans for a new firehall are well underway in both Maple and Ridge and Pitt Meadows
In Pitt Meadows the building will replace the existing firehall, which opened in 1983, according to Jennifer Sundram, city media spokesperson.
While the firehall undergoes construction Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Service will remain full operational.
“Response times is one of the leading factors and a top priority for the City,” said Sundram. “Impacts on response time will be minimized, whenever possible.”
A 2017 feasibility study found the existing hall was significantly undersized and required seismic upgrades. City staff explored 12 potential site options for the new hall and after considering response time, access and neighbourhood impact found the existing site was best.
The construction of the new hall is expected to cost $15 million, according to Sundram, and the capital cost of the project will be funded from City reserves without an impact to taxation.
The project is on schedule and expected to reach completion in fall 2022.
Meanwhile, Maple Ridge will see the addition of a new firehall and training centre in April 2020.
Initially, there will be 25 paid on-call firefighters employed the new firehall #4, but that may change, according to Maple Ridge fire chief Howard Exner.
“We’re just in the process of starting our fire department master plan review… there could be a change of how that hall is staffed,” he said.
The new firehall and training site will be constructed in the Albion neighbourhood. Currently, firehall #1 responds to calls in the area. Once the new firehall is complete, firehall #1 should expect from call relief.
“It’s going to be an important piece of infrastructure… and it will help us lower response times,” said Exner.
The Maple Ridge firehall carries a similar price tag to the rebuild in Pitt Meadows.
“We have good containment on the budget and it’s moving ahead accordingly,” said Exner.
The facility will house two fire engines and a water tanker truck.