LETHBRIDGE: The public had an inside look Wednesday at Lethbridge's newest fire hall facilities. The fire department and emergency services showed off new equipment and renovations done over the past two years at an open house - both at the downtown and north side facilities.
"This certainly gives us more functional capability in regards to the size of the building, the apparatus space, the training that we can do," said Fire Chief Brian Cornforth of the new downtown space. "And it leaves us in our core central area which is one of our busiest districts in the city."
The new fire headquarters brings together several branches of fire and EMS that they couldn't before.
Administration, the Emergency Operations Centre and the Public Safety Communications Centre are now all housed in the building. Cornforth also described some of the renovations to the new training centre on the north side. He said they've chosen sustainable building materials wherever possible to make a "greener" impact on the community.
"The type of things that we're seeing in the fire service now are starting to evolve into more focus on their environmental footprint, as well as being good functional training," said Cornforth. "And we're seeing this throughout North America in our training facilities." The training facility now has a system to recover and recycle the water they use during training. They also burn propane during simulations, which is a cleaner-burning fuel. "We provide the best live training that we can, as well as leaving the smallest environmental footprint that we possibly can with our activities," he said.
The total budget for the new headquarters, which opened in July 2010, was over $15 million. The budget for the north side renovations was just over $2 million.