Coquitlam firefighters will have a new training centre at Firehall 1 by the fall to replace their aging structure.
But it will cost $300,00 more than anticipated — and it’ll have another $75,000 bill attached to add electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for future fire/rescue apparatus.
Monday, city council unanimously OK’d the revised budget of $2.1 million — plus the last-minute EV addition — to build a tower that, when complete, will stand four storeys stall and be located directly west of the firehall station.
Built out of shipping containers, the tower will allow smoke-eaters to train for live fires, high angle operations, searches, laddering, combat challenges, fire alarm simulations and evacuations, among other activities.
Next to the training centre will also be a ground-base fire training area with propane and electrical services for gas-fired props, according to a city report.
Fire Chief Jim Ogloff told the Tri-City News on Tuesday the existing training structure is more than 30 years old and past its service life.
“The proposed replacement facility will enhance the training capabilities and provide a higher level of variation and realism to a multitude of practical training scenarios,” he said. “This will support effective fire-ground strategies and ensure the department’s firefighters and command staff are adequately prepared to operate safely and efficiently for years to come.”
Funding for the tower will come from casino revenues as host city to the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, while the EV chargers will be paid out of the city’s carbon offsets reserves.
Still, Don Luymes, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, told council the project won’t include a self-supported crane prop nor water/sanitary hook-ups for future washrooms in the existing portable classroom, which can be rented out by the public.