TPSAR eyes fire hall

Search and res­cue group pitches idea of set­ting up its of­fice base at the soon-to-be va­cated Whitney Fire Hall.

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - LEN GILLIS

The peo­ple who do search-an­dres­cue work in Tim­mins are look­ing to find some new digs.

Tim­mins por­cu­pine search and res­cue (Tpsar) has asked to get the use of the Whitney fire hall now that a new Whitney fire hall is be­ing built at North­ern Col­lege.

The Tpsar sug­gested the idea this week dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion to city coun­cil, where it was re­vealed the group needs a place to store its ve­hi­cles and equip­ment, and to carry out train­ing.

Sev­eral coun­cil mem­bers said they are open to the idea, which has been put in the hands of city staff to pre­pare a re­port on whether the idea is fea­si­ble.

It was last Fe­bru­ary that city coun­cil de­cided to in­vest $2 mil­lion for the cre­ation of a new Whitney fire hall to be made part of the new in­te­grated emer­gency ser­vices build­ing now un­der con­struc­tion at North­ern Col­lege.

It was at mon­day night’s coun­cil meet­ing that Tpsar com­mu­ni­ca­tions chair lisa dubeau-lehto re­vealed that Tpsar would like to move into the fire hall lo­ca­tion on dixon street once the Whitney Vol­un­teers move out to re­lo­cate at the North­ern Col­lege lo­ca­tion. That could hap­pen as early as the fall of 2018.

“We are in need of a safe, se­cure, weather-pro­tected lo­ca­tion to store our com­mand unit (cube van), our trailer, our equip­ment such as boats and mo­tors etcetera, res­cue trailer and res­cue equip­ment,” she said.

Hav­ing all the equip­ment in one lo­ca­tion would en­able Tpsar mem­bers to re­spond more quickly in emer­gency si­t­u­a­tions by hav­ing it main­tained in a ready state, dubeau-lehto added.

“We run a year-round op­er­a­tion and have equip­ment for sum­mer and win­ter and keeping equip­ment out of the el­e­ments will re­duce main­te­nance costs.

“We are also in need of a lo­ca­tion where our mem­bers can meet and train,” she said, adding the group cur­rently has no reg­u­lar meet­ing place.

She noted that Tpsar mem­bers are reg­u­larly called out to as­sist po­lice in searches, the most re­cent be­ing last week­end when po­lice car­ried out a search for a miss­ing man in an area off high­way 655.

“Should the city be will­ing to con­sider this re­quest, we would like to es­tab­lish a work­ing group in or­der to make our re­quest a re­al­ity.”

Coun. pat bam­ford thanked the group for its com­mu­nity ser­vice. he said the re­quest was not a sim­ple mat­ter, but said Tpsar should meet with city ad­min­is­tra­tion to dis­cuss the ob­vi­ous fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tions.

Dur­ing coun­cil de­bates held last win­ter over the idea of mov­ing the Whitney fire hall to North­ern Col­lege, it was sug­gested that the cost of main­tain­ing the build­ing ranged from $12,000 to $20,000 a year.

Coun. mike doody also voiced sup­port for the group and the im­por­tant role of Tpsar in the com­mu­nity. he said he con­curred with bam­ford and hoped that some sort of ar­range­ment could be made.

Coun. rick dubeau thanked the group for their ef­forts which he said was a ben­e­fit to emer­gency ser­vices in Tim­mins. dubeau men­tioned that he was aware that most of the vol­un­teer fire halls in Tim­mins have va­cant meet­ing space that could ac­com­mo­date search-and-res­cue train­ing in the short term.

he added that the city should def­i­nitely con­sider the Tpsar re­quest for us­ing the Whitney fire­hall, but he added the group might also be in­ter­ested in ap­proach­ing benev­o­lent busi­ness own­ers who might also be will­ing to help out.

Coun. an­drew marks en­dorsed the com­ments of pre­vi­ous coun­cil­lors and said he hoped to see some sort of ar­range­ment be­ing worked out. he said such a part­ner­ship would be a win-win for the city and Tpsar.

Mayor steve black said it ap­peared there was a con­sen­sus that city staff should fol­low up with Tpsar to see what ar­range­ments could be worked out.

LEN GILLIS/THE DAILY PRESS

Tim­mins Por­cu­pine Search and Res­cue (TPSAR) is look­ing to move into the Whitney fire hall at some point in the near fu­ture. TPSAR rep­re­sen­ta­tives Lisa Dubeau-lehto, seen here, and Rob Schry­burt told city coun­cil this week their or­ga­ni­za­tion needs a lo­ca­tion for stor­ing ve­hi­cles and equip­ment, and to carry out reg­u­lar train­ing. The Whitney fire hall is ex­pected to be va­cant by the end of 2018 since a new hall is be­ing cre­ated as part of the new emer­gency ser­vices build­ing at North­ern Col­lege.

LEN GILLIS/THE DAILY PRESS

File photo of Tim­mins Por­cu­pine Search and Res­cue (TPSAR) mem­bers work­ing with Tim­mins Po­lice Ser­vice in the search of a miss­ing per­son. TPSAR has asked city hall for per­mis­sion to move into the Whitney fire hall to set up a new lo­ca­tion for its equip­ment stor­age and train­ing.

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