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

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Drive-in movie screenings next week will benefit Nanaimo food bank

Fortis B.C. and Fresh Air Cinema holding fundraisers at Woodgrove Centre

Nanaimo barber looks at new style for back-to-school fundraiser

Dave Lawrence of That 50’s Barber Shop getting tattoo in Fresh Start promo on Aug. 17

Neighbours try to clean up around nuisance drug house on Milton Street in Nanaimo

560 Milton St. was declared a nuisance property last month

V.I. Raiders’ junior football season gets cancelled

CJFL says it will focus on a return-to-play plan for 2021

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

Do-over vote has similar result, 280-unit development in Lantzville going to public hearing

Mayor’s motion to rescind Clark/Medd application’s second reading fails 3-2

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 5

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read