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Big upgrades for firefighters at CFB Trenton

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TRENTON, Ont. (23/05/2012) Deputy fire chief at CFB Trenton, Jacques René, shows off one of the base's new firetrucks. The trucks will have a new home by summer of 2013, when a new fire hall at the base is expected to be complete. Photo by Marc Venema.

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An artist's concept of CFB Trenton's new fire hall. The hall is expected to be complete by summer of 2013.

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An artist's concept of CFB Trenton's new fire hall. The hall is expected to be complete by summer of 2013.

 

By Marc Venema

Firefighters at CFB Trenton are getting a state-of-the-art fire hall to go with their new fleet of trucks.

A new $12.1 million dollar fire hall on the base, already under construction, is expected to be complete by next summer. The new hall will handle a higher number of vehicles, and is over five times the size as the old hall.

“It will be state of the art,” said Jacques René, deputy fire chief at CFB Trenton. “It will give us the flexibility to have more vehicles and able to train more efficiently.”

René said the new hall is being built on a centralized location at the base, which means faster response times.

“When the bells go off, I have two minutes to place any of my vehicles at the most remote area,” René said. “Currently, I’m at three minutes but with this location being dead centralized, we will be able to make that timing.”

Colonel Sean Friday, base commander at CFB Trenton, said the new hall will allow firefighters to have the best possible chance to save lives, no matter what aircraft or what the circumstances.

“Whether it’s just a few people on board or it’s full of the next bunch of Canadian Forces folks going off to help somewhere around the world, we need to make sure that we have the capabilities to get out there and save lives.”

The base’s 64 firefighters are also receiving a new fleet of trucks.

Crews have received two 12,000-litre crash trucks over the past two summers; the remaining two are expected late this summer. The hall also has one 5,000 litre air-deployable crash truck, and is expecting two structural fire trucks in 2014 and 2015.

René said the new trucks are faster, safer and more efficient.

“I only need three of the new vehicles to respond to our biggest aircraft,” René said. “With our old vehicles it would be four or five trucks.”’

“We are leaps and bounds from where we were before.”

The 3,126 square-metre building is being constructed by M.J. Dixon Construction Ltd. Out of Mississauga, Ontario.

At the age of 50, the old fire hall is considerably smaller, at 566 square metres, and has eight truck bays compared to 14 in the new building.

The old fire hall will be used by military police once the new hall is complete.

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