Im­proved and faster ser­vice

Straits fire chief says new fire hall will ben­e­fit re­gion

Northern Pen - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS

FLOWER’S COVE, NL – A new fire hall is go­ing to make a big dif­fer­ence in the Straits, says the lo­cal fire chief.

On Oct. 21, Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Ed­die Joyce and St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Mead­ows MHA Christo­pher Mitchel­more an­nounced the NorPen Re­gional Ser­vice Board will re­ceive fund­ing to con­struct a new fire hall in Flower’s Cove to serve 13 com­mu­ni­ties from An­chor Point to Ed­die’s Cove.

Straits Vol­un­teer Re­gional Fire De­part­ment fire chief Hank Di­a­mond says a new fire hall will im­prove re­sponse times and ben­e­fit ev­ery­one.

Ac­cord­ing to Di­a­mond, hav­ing a space to train and to store equip­ment and trucks has al­ways been an is­sue for the de­part­ment.

For six or seven years, the de­part­ment has been ap­ply­ing for cap­i­tal works fund­ing for a new build­ing.

“This is the year, fi­nally, it panned out,” said Di­a­mond.

He calls the cur­rent fire hall “pretty con­gested.” Ve­hi­cles have been left out­side due to lack of space.

“You know you’re not ready to re­spond (to an emer­gency) when you’re out in the el­e­ments and you’re snowed over and iced in,” Di­a­mond ex­plained. But in the pro­posed new fire hall, ev­ery­thing would be lo­cated in one build­ing.

“This is go­ing to be a God­send for the re­gion,” he said. “Our re­sponse time is go­ing to im­prove be­cause ev­ery­thing is go­ing to be in one build­ing and you can pick the equip­ment that you need.

“Right now, fire­fight­ers are go­ing up, get­ting their gear, and then go­ing off and get­ting the pick-up truck and com­ing back to the hall. Peo­ple think we have good re­sponse times now – this is go­ing to help big time.”

Di­a­mond says a sur­vey was com­pleted last year and the site lo­ca­tion, be­tween the ESSO and the L&E Res­tau­rant, was se­lected.

NorPen Re­gional Ser­vice Board now has to give fi­nal ap­proval on the de­sign of the build­ing.

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