The Village of Carbon and its Fire Department witnessed the construction of their new fire hall in just under one month, beginning February 10.
“It’s a shell, a bare bones building at the moment with 6500 sq. ft of usable space, including the upstairs mezzanine floor,” said Marty Morgan, Fire Chief. He explains that the walls are 20 feet in height to allow for the mezzanine, a height which the members can utilize for second-storey ladder training. “It’s basically an empty room up there and we can turn the lights out. There are two average house-sized windows included for the mezzanine wall to accommodate training situations. There are plans to build a mock up wall with a shingled, slanted roof to mimic the slope of a home, also for training purposes. The fire department spent $7,000 of their own funds to pay for this. “This will be a later add on,” said Marty, “as in nearer to the end of July. We want our fire hall to be what it is going to be as quick as we can.”
The north side of the mezzanine level will also hold an infra-red sauna and exercise equipment. “Just 20 minutes in the sauna will help toward leaching out the smoke that gets into the pores of our skin. The sauna is a tool in cancer prevention as well as a great way to sweat away any anxiety.” There will be his and her showers and bathrooms on site, as well as a laundry room and full kitchen with range and dishwasher. “Showers are just a must,” said Marty. “If for no other reason than little children, it is just not healthy to be taking into our personal homes the kind of contamination that can get on our bodies and gear.”
ATCO is scheduled to be removing a street light and the electrical and plumbing work on the facility are scheduled to begin soon, as is the pouring of the floor, sometime within the month of April. The inside pad will be poured before the outside lot. It will include about 6” gravel fill and 6” of concrete “It will need approximately a month to set and cure,” said Marty, “before we can park a tender in there, as it weighs about 35,000 lbs and with water, 46,000 lbs.” The flooring includes piping for heat, which costs roughly $29,000 itself. “We will have a nice warm floor to crawl around on during winter training.” The bays will have overhead radiant heaters 80’ long X 64’ wide. There will be fans, and the two walls (north and south sides) each have five windows and two openings for vents. Green energy lighting will be utilized where possible. There are two bays that will house the fire equipment and another as a dedicated wash bay. “With our own wash bay, vehicles will now get washed down after a call, before members go home. I liken it to a menial task that helps us wind down after the adrenaline from an accident or fire.” The Fire Department used fundraised dollars of $10,000 for the hot water pressure washer with 2200 psi and 150 feet of hose. At a date yet to be announced, the Carbon Fire Department will hold a car wash fundraiser, out on the street.
On the main floor there is a 20’ X 22’ training/meeting room in the back (west side) of building. There will be an 8’ X 16’ office with room for two desks and storage. “A fax line was costing us $1,200 a year so we got rid of it and set up an IP Printer. We seemed to be scraping pennies together by the end of any given year so $1,200 is a real savings. That savings can be used toward equipment purchases. We have six sets of self contained SCBA (breathing apparatus) which was purchased from the $50,000 the Village received a few years back with the dissolving of Kneehill Ambulance.” The major funds for this new fire hall came from Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding, along with some extra funds from the fire department’s own fundraising activities.
“Having this facility is long overdue and I say, well deserved,” commented Marty. “The location is perfect for our large equipment to exit the Village. Now, instead of going to the school for Fire Prevention Week, we can have the school children come to this facility.” Marty is hoping the department can move in around the end of July, 2017. It would take only about two days to move most everything into place once the key is handed over to the fire department. At the moment, Carbon Fire Department has 19 members and they hope the new facility will make it easier to attract new members. “It has been getting harder to find the dedicated people.” The basic commitment is meeting twice a month with a minimum of four hours per month for training. There are courses over and above that. There will be an open house scheduled.