Artists’ renderings of the City of Nanaimo’s Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (S2 Architecture/City of Nanaimo image)

Artists’ renderings of the City of Nanaimo’s Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (S2 Architecture/City of Nanaimo image)

New Nanaimo fire hall will adhere to upgraded communication requirements

Groundbreaking happening this week for Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street

With a new fire hall will come greater communication abilities, says Nanaimo’s fire chief.

Construction of the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 will get underway Wednesday, July 29, with a groundbreaking ceremony.

Regional District of Nanaimo directors are being asked today, July 28, to approve $2 million borrowing on behalf of the City of Nanaimo, as per Municipal Finance Authority regulations, for the new fire station on Fitzwilliam Street. The project has an estimated price tag of $20 million and will see construction of a building that will house firefighting, emergency coordination, dispatch and fire command services.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue is scheduled to move into its new digs in September 2022 and fire Chief Karen Fry said the dispatch will comply with ‘next-generation’ 911 fire infrastructure upgrades required of fire departments nationwide by 2024.

Fry said the new communications centre will evolve from the current analog system to “all digital and internet protocol-based.”

“I think new technology in the 911 setting is really beneficial,” said Fry. “911’s really evolved since the early ’80s when it came to B.C. and this is the newest phase that will allow people opportunities to text a message to 911 or to send video messages to a 911 centre and to able to be located through in-call location if they are moving when they’re talking to 911 dispatchers.”

Fry also said that in-call location could benefit police.

“If you were perhaps, captured or captive and you were in a vehicle and you called 911, as you moved along, the police could ping your phone again and it would update your location … if I picked up my cellphone right now and dialed 911 it would give a pretty good proximity of where I am at the moment that I dialed the number,” said Fry.

However, Fry said if someone continued to run or drive, there currently isn’t the ability to find out where you’ve gone.

“In the future, one of those things is called in-call location update … and they will be able to say that car, person, or caller is now 500 metres north of this location, so that’s a good thing and they use that a lot for people that are lost or have been kidnapped or things potentially like Amber Alerts,” said Fry.

RELATED: Cost to build new Nanaimo Fire Station No. 1 jumps $3 million

While the fire station is in Nanaimo city boundaries, the RDN could see some benefit, according to Ian Thorpe, Nanaimo councillor and RDN board chairman.

“Certainly the City of Nanaimo is part of the regional district and increased fire rescue services helps everybody,” said Thorpe. “It’s primarily in the City of Nanaimo for sure, but the overall level of service is going to improve.”

The communications centre’s coverage is from Shawnigan Lake/Lake Cowichan to Lantzville areas, said Fry, with 26 fire departments that the centre serves as dispatcher for.

Borrowing for the fire station is being planned in three phases, according to an RDN staff report, with $3.2 million previously borrowed in 2018.

According to Jeannie Bradburne, RDN director of finance, municipal borrowing legislation states that only regional districts may undertake debt, which is why the RDN is borrowing on the city’s behalf.

RELATED: City of Nanaimo fire station No. 1 plans unveiled

RELATED: Fire station No. 1 gets go-ahead from Nanaimo citizens



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Nanaimo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk on Nanaimo’s Victoria Road

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Rendering of two residential buildings proposed for the corner of Haliburton and Milton streets. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Two five-storey residential buildings approved for Haliburton Street

City council issues development permit for 79-unit complex at Haliburton and Milton

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is on route to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device. (Google/Screencap)
Bomb disposal unit en route to Salt Spring Island after suspicious device found in park

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Most Read