It’s the first fire station added to the city of Lethbridge in decades, and now, Fire Station No. 5 is ready to open.
The new fire station is located in the Watermark community in west Lethbridge.
Deputy Chief Greg Adair said city council has given the fire department a directive to respond to 90 per cent of calls in 10 minutes or less.
“With this hall, that is strategically located in the southwest of Lethbridge, we will be able to meet that council mandate,” he said.
The station is needed in the area as west Lethbridge continues to grow. Adair said it will not just improve response time, but also overall firefighting resources throughout the city.
“There will be about 20,000 people this fire station will be looking after,” he said. “In addition to that, this fire station gives us an increased depth of firefighting capabilities (and) rescue capabilities for those other events that occur around the city.”
The city, along with the firefighters’ union, helped furnish the interior of the new hall. Firefighters will have access to a gym, kitchen and living areas and will have training facilities, including a classroom and an area for survivability training like rappelling.
The fire hall also has two sides to the building, keeping harmful carcinogens at bay.
“Anything that has come into contact with products of combustion will stay on the dirty side of the building, and the clean side of the building is where the individuals will eat and sleep and train and do all those pieces, ” Adair said.
He said the project did take a bit longer than hoped, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also came in underbudget. The project was approved for $10.3 million and came in at $9.5 million.
The building will be ready to open for calls on June 21.