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Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department completes fire station reno, police seek expansion

Click to play video: 'Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department expands station, police need more space too'
Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department expands station, police need more space too
WATCH: Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department expands station, police need more space too – Oct 29, 2023

The Kennebecasis Valley Police Force and Fire Department are expanding as the two municipalities prepare for the 2024 budget season.

In Quispamsis, Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department has fully remodeled its former multi-purpose centre into a second fire station. The building used to house an ambulance and a section of the town’s works department.

It is about 7.4 kilometres from the main station on Campbell Drive. The project came to a total cost of about $3.6 million.

Deputy Chief Shawn White said the old space, which locals might have known as the civic centre, was cramped and not really up to the standard needed to run a firehouse.

“Before the renovation it was a really small space for the firefighters to work in, very confined spaces,” he said in an interview Friday. “The renovations that have taken place over the last year and half have substantially increased our operational capability.”

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The town did a study, which showed there needed to be a fire station in both Rothesay and Quispamsis, and the location on Civic Drive was about a kilometre from the most ideal spot for the second station.

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White said the renovation expands the washrooms and provides the firefighters with much more space when they are on their shifts.

It added a gym for crews to be able to workout. It built an expanded kitchen and washroom facilities. There is now a place to shower. It also has a training area so that crews can train without leaving station 2.

The renovation also included a hose-drying tower, which doubles as a training tower as Quispamsis and Rothesay builds more multi-storey apartments.

“We’re able to now utilize this training tower, hose tower, to help keep our fire fighters up to speed on the current tactics on the ways they can mitigate fires and extinguish them,” White said.

But it is not the only public body organization asking the councils for more money and expanded space.

Kennebecasis Valley Police Department is asking Rothesay and Quispamsis for $4.2 million to the expand the police station.

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At a budget discussion earlier this month, Chief Steve Gourdeau told the joint finance committee the current building could not longer support the growth of staff, services and equipment.

Council documents say the storage space has been repurposed, but has become “unsustainable.”

Quispamsis Councillor Kirk Miller said the financial ask from the police department has been ongoing for about the last three years. It has a lengthy process to go through, including starting with the police board, then the joint finance committee and then council.

“It’s really about adding an extra 800 square feet,” Miller said. “We’re going to be increasing the size of the female washrooms as well. It’s just that building also has been around for…I think it’s 25 years and we need to have more space.”

He said the storage component is important because police are required to keep some case files for up to 70 years.

The department has also added more staff, with Miller adding they have added more officers to the traffic division due to higher volumes of speeding and impaired driving.

“It’s all about storing equipment safely … we need to have things in a safe, secure environment,” he said.

Both Quispamsis and Rothesay will need to fully approve the request from the police department to secure funding.

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