May 19, 2017 7:46 pm
Updated: May 19, 2017 7:53 pm

Finance committee approves west Lethbridge fire station

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Any project with a price tag of $10 million is worthy of discussion, but the approval of a new west-side fire station seemed like a foregone conclusion.

“We’re talking about public safety,” Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman said. “That’s what municipalities have to provide. So in that sense, it is a no-brainer.”

As part of the draft Capital Improvement Project, by a vote of 8-1, the finance committee approved the construction of fire station No. 5. The new facility will be built in the south end of west Lethbridge, in the Waterbridge area.

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“We’re certainly excited that the west-side station has been approved,” said Dana Terry, Lethbridge Fire Department’s deputy chief of support services. “We appreciate city council for the support that they’ve provided to us for the citizens of the city.”

Terry recognizes the importance of bringing extra support to the west side, because the extra travel time to a scene can make a big difference.

“Time is brain, it’s heart, so definitely the medical aspect is a big issue for us,” Terry said. “And when we look at fire responses for us as well, it’s a big issue for us. We need to be able to control fire before it spreads to the rest of a home, or the rest of a business.”

Currently, there is only one fire station on the west side, with one ambulance, and one fire engine, serving 40,000 residents. Terry has seen situations where another facility would be a massive help.

“We had one (fire) in Sunridge that took three buildings, three residences, and that was a problem,” Terry said, adding another west-side station “would have allowed us to get more staff on scene a little bit more quickly.”

There will be one fire truck and one ambulance in the new fire hall. Spearman says it will likely be built by 2020.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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