Tuesday, 10 May 2016

La Corey unveils new fire hall and grading bay

For the Bonnyville Nouvelle

La Corey Station Fire Chief Al Donald (left) cut the ribbon on the new fire hall with Reeve Ed Rondeau (centre) and Coun. Mike Krywiak.
Eric Bowling
 The hamlet of La Corey unveiled its new fire hall over the weekend to a crowd of nearly 50 residents.

The two-bay, six-door garage will house three fire trucks as well as the Municipal District's road graders.

The fire hall is a welcome replacement of the old building, which was built somewhere between 1960-70. A major improvement of the new station is that it comes equipped with its own pumping station so trucks can re-fill their water tanks right in the shop.

“Before we used to have to go down towards Iron River. There was a tank set up for firefighting,” said firefighter John Healy. “Here we can back in and fill our trucks up in no time flat.”

Healy added that another benefit of the new station is that it keeps all the firefighting equipment under one roof.

“In the other spot there was two bays, but one was a bit further away and they had different keys,” explained Healy. “In this one here everything is in one spot.”

The fire hall is over five years in the making. Construction began last summer and the hall has been in service since this spring.

The hall cost $2.2 million to build. Funding for the project came from the MD's general revenue. The majority of the money was set aside in earlier budgets. “It was broken up under two budgets,” said Bonnyville M.D. Reeve Ed Rondeau. “Half of it was the fire authority budget and the other half was the transportation and utilities budget. Then we put it together as one building.”

Rondeau added that the hall's new location should allow for faster access to the highway for first responders. The previous hall was right in the middle of La Corey.

“I think it serves the region a little better,” commented Rondeau.

The La Corey Fire Hall covers a wide area of land, from Crane Lake to Cold Lake, as well as Goodridge to Glendon. The facility will also provide assistance to other fire departments in the county.

“One of the things that people need to understand is that we totally work in conjunction with Iron River Fire Hall,” said La Corey Station Fire Chief Al Donald. “If we get a call, we both go. They've got a rapid response unit and a tandem tanker, but they don't have a pumper. We have the pumper and two tankers.

“It's a huge area.”

The fire hall will also be used for training recruits on every second Tuesday, of the month as well as hosting regular administrative meetings on the same days.

A side benefit of the new building has been a spike in new recruits to the volunteer fire department.
“The best part of this is how much it increases interest in the department,” said Bonnyville Fire Guardian Rollie Inman. “We've had four new volunteers in the last week alone.”

The fire hall is widely seen as a necessary development in the growing community of La Corey.

“The community has changed quite drastically. As the community grew, so did the fire department,” explained Regional Fire Chief Brian McEvoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment