Thousands tour new Port Moody fire hall
The dangers of the job remain the same but going to work will soon be a lot more enjoyable for Port Moody firefighters.
A crowd of about 2,000 streamed through the new Inlet Centre Fire Hall for Sunday's open house to get a peek inside the brick building across from city hall on Newport Drive.
"We served 1,000 hotdogs and 1,000 hamburgers and lots of timbits and coffee," said Fire Chief Remo Faedo.
And while the 20,000-foot state-of-the-art facility is an impressive sight, it will still be several more weeks before it goes into full operation.
"We're going to start moving in at the end of February," said Faedo. "The start will be with administrative staff and following that will be the operational staff, the firefighters. I would probably say the middle of March."
It won't be a long move for the 22 firefighters currently stationed at the old hall that sits on an adjacent property. Another 20 firefighters work out of Port Moody's Glenayre Fire Hall. But it's one that has long been anticipated.
The new hall is double the space of the old hall and the $7-million facility will be able to accommodate the administrative offices and training quarters that have been housed in trailers at the back of the old hall. But the chief said the additional space is only part of the reason for the move.
"The other half was that old fire hall was at the end of its life. The plumbing was worn out, the electrical was at maximum capacity. There was considerable amount of movement in the soil so we were getting cracks in the walls. We were actually getting separation between the tarmac and our building so it was at the end of its life."
No decision has been made on what will be done with the current hall, which was built in the early 1970s.
And while there currently aren't any females among Port Moody's full-time professional firefighters, Faedo said arrangements have been made for the inevitable day when there will be.
"I was part of the design process and that was one of the absolute musts that we had to have in the design, we had to accommodate female firefighters."
Faedo said the gender-neutral design includes two private dorms in addition to the main dorm area as well as a large locker room instead of a change room.
"All changing takes place in a separate washrooms," he said. "We have four large washrooms that are meant to be used for changing."