New hall will improve fire coverage in Airdrie
Airdrie’s full-time fire protection will be augmented by one-third after the grand opening of the new Fire Department Headquarters and Chinook Winds Station, July 21.
The facility is the first station on the west side of the railway tracks and will accommodate about 30 years of the city’s growth.
“This will drastically improve all response times on the west side and put us right at our goal of four minutes travel time,” said Kevin Weinberger, Airdrie Fire Chief during a December tour of the facility.
“It relieves the pressure of the train tracks. Overall it will be a better protection and a benefit to the community.”
To celebrate the opening, the City of Airdrie is hosting the event at the new 32,000-square-foot facility located at 2525 Chinook Winds Drive SW, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. It will feature fire station and emergency operations centre tours and a variety of family-friendly activities.
“We invite all Airdrie residents to come out and celebrate the opening of another important community safety building in our city,” said Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown. “This fire station is designed to serve and support the community for many years to come.”
The facility was built in 18 months at a cost of about $10.4 million.
The cost was shared by the Province, which provided $4.7 million in Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding, and the City of Airdrie, which paid for the project through its capital budget.
The facility has five double bays and two extra bays, originally built to house EMS, which has since moved to a separate location.
According to City spokeswoman Linda Phelan, four full-time firefighters will always be on duty at the hall. The facility will also accommodate seven administration staff.
The facility includes bedrooms, offices, boardrooms, a lounge, kitchen, bathrooms, a workout room, a training mezzanine, a laundry room and a decontamination locker. The building includes many training features such as a 52-foot house tower where firefighters can practice ladder rescues and repelling.
Phelan said the fire station boasts a number of sustainable features including daylight harvesting, low watt fluorescent interior lights, LED exterior lights, operable windows for fresh air, rain water harvesting for exterior irrigation, low water plantings, solar heated water as the primary source of hot water and augmented insulation.
Phelan said the station is good news for residents.
“It is important for a growing city to have proper safety infrastructure in place,” she said. “Another purpose-built fire station just means that Airdrie residents can be assured that safety is a priority for City council.”
A number of local politicians, including Brown, will be on hand for the grand opening, as well as Alberta’s Minister of Transportation Ric McIver.
A number of fire personnel, including Weinberger and Calgary Fire Chief Bruce Burrell, will also take part in the celebration.
Phelan said more than 400 people attended the grand opening of the 18,400-square-foot, $8 million King’s Heights fire station last summer, and organizers are anticipating at least that number for the new station’s celebration.
“We invite all Airdrie residents to come and celebrate the opening of another community safety building,” said Phelan. “This provides another opportunity for Airdrie residents to get to know their safety providers.”