The first steel studs are now going up in Fire Station #5, the newest fire hall located in Watermark, on the south end of West Lethbridge.
“We’ve had one station trying to cover almost half the population of the city so this is absolutely going to bolster our ability to respond, not just on the west side but through out the city in terms of staffing levels at fire scenes and EMS scenes,” fire Chief Marc Rathwell said.
The project was given the green light in 2017, with construction starting last year. So far, things remain on track despite a challenging 2020.
“Fortunately materials and supplies, so far we have not had any impact with COVID, there’s been a few things we’ve had to work around and obviously some different safety rules and protocols on site,” Jace Adams, project manager of the Facility Services Department, said. “We’ve been able to maintain the schedule despite weather and COVID.”
The budget for the project is slated for $10.3 million and so far, is staying on point. The building is expected to be complete by January, with fire personnel and all the equipment ready to go by the spring.
“This will allow us to put a fire truck, as we would traditionally see it, a pumper truck, an ambulance, and also maybe a wildland truck or an additional vehicle to support if we need to be flexible,” added Rathwell.
But with a pandemic still unfolding, Adams said they can only do their best to keep things moving forward, on time and on budget.
“Everything is day-to-day with COVID, things change and we’ve managed to work through it so far,” Adams said. “If we get another flare-up that could impact us, but so far we’ve been very fortunate on our site that we haven’t had any major impacts.”