Shovels are in the dirt, and construction on the new Lloydminster Fire Hall has begun.
The new location for Fire Hall #1 will be at 3752-47 Street, built on an area of City-owned land that was earmarked as having quicker access to major roads, having lands allowing for expansion and causing fewer noise complaints. It will replace the existing hall when it is finished.
A virtual groundbreaking ceremony was held online on April 21st, with Mayor Gerald Aalbers, Fire Chief Leigh Sawicki and Chandos Construction Senior Project Manager Michael Lewis. Chandos, an Edmonton construction company, will be coordinating on the project with their Red Deer offices.
Lewis says they’ll be committed to hiring up local workers and organizations every step of the way and will be regularly in touch with the Lloydminster Construction Association to make that happen.
“We’re ensuring that not only are we following the City of Lloydminster’s procurement methods but also ensuring that we utilize every method possible to broadcast inside the local area for trade involvement, and again, vendor involvement as well.”
Once the project is complete, the new Fire Hall #1 will be a place where all of their administration is under one roof and allow the City’s firefighters to have a completely up to date space, built with bigger dormitories, wider truck bays and larger spaces to keep dirty gear away from clean spaces, promoting the health of the firefighters.
Fire Chief Leigh Sawicki says for their members, who spend a lot of their life there, having this space is very important.
“We have firefighters staffed in the station 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so this station should be that ‘home away from home.’ When you’re there half of your career, half of your life, living in it should be made comfortable, especially with some of the emergencies that they respond to.”
The new facility will also allow for training exercises as well, through the construction of a new fire tower that firefighters can run live drills at. On top of that, Sawicki adds, more training space will allow them to help smaller fire departments in the Lloydminster area run their training as well.
“It gives us the ability to do technical rescue operations, sprinklers, hose operations, ladder operations and things like that. Your second question as it to will it be open to surrounding communities, yes we are looking at, and have already hosted in the past, some regional training opportunities, and this would be the facility that would facilitate that in the future.”
Mayor Gerald Aalbers also remarked that it was exciting to see shovels in the ground and this project becoming a reality.
“This is has been in discussion for some time in the city, and I know that administration has worked very hard to get to this point. [We] appreciate all the people, all the individuals who have played a part in this, and now we get down to the business of construction.”
The New Fire Hall is pegged to cost $7.1 million and is expected to be complete by the end of 2021, before becoming fully operational in 2022.