Fire station opening delayed
Minor deficiencies nothing out of the ordinary: official
Move-in day for the new Victoria Road fire station has been slightly delayed.
Gilbert MacIntyre, deputy chief of the Cape Breton Regional Fire Service, said the delay is nothing out of the ordinary and is part of the normal process of commissioning a new building.
“The contractors have turned it over to building services with Cape Breton Regional Municipality,” he said. “They’re just finding some deficiencies that they want addressed before we move in. There was a smoke detector missing that they wanted placed, there’s some signage issues that would tell people what doors have to remain … closed.”
Another sign is needed to indicate where firefighters are to go with their contaminated turnout gear after responding to fires, MacIntyre added.
“We don’t want to be in until it’s fully commissioned and they sign off on it,” he said. “I don’t want to have my people in there and have building services in there at the same time trying to do their job and interfering with our job, so we’re better to remain in the station where we are, where we can respond without any conflicting entities.”
Work on the modern facility began last spring under the direction of Dora Construction. When completed, the station will replace the aging Whitney Pier fire station. The fire service had hoped to be in the new station by December
MacIntyre said firefighters are anxious to settle into their new digs.
“It’s a beautiful, modern building that has a lot of (occupational health and safety) concerns addressed,” he said. “Our youngest building was built in 1983 so there’s a lot of happened in OHS since then and all of those things are addressed in this building. Everybody is looking forward to getting into it.”
They now expect the fire service to take possession within the next couple of weeks and the fire service will then have to outfit some offices and set up the workout area.
MacIntyre added he understands members of the public may be interested in seeing the fire station once it is up and running “and they should feel welcome to do that.”
Features of the new station include drive-through bays, whereas currently trucks must be backed in. It will also have the ability to house the regional command post, allowing it to be deployed more quickly in the event of an incident. The station will also have a dedicated physical fitness area for firefighters, an area for training and male and female shower areas. Its decontamination room will allow gear and soiled clothing to be cleaned at the station following a call, rather than seeing firefighters take their clothing home with them.
The Whitney Pier station is believed to have opened sometime in the 1970s and was only originally intended to be a temporary home for the service. The central station on the Esplanade is the only other operating fire station since the service closed its facility on Ashby Road in 2009, and later tore it down. The fire service, which is staffed with paid firefighters, serves the Sydney area.
Deputy Chief Gilbert MacIntyre stands outside of the new fire station on Victoria Road in Sydney. Opening of the building has been slightly delayed as minor deficiencies including signage and a missing smoke detector are addressed.