By Nikki Jamieson
With the grand opening of the Regional Training Facility next week, the centre’s opening will mark a year of dedicated hard work afor the Vauxhall Regional Fire Department to get it going.
“The Vauxhall Fire Department had saved up some money to make it happen. And so, once then they got the approval, the water commission released it (the building), and emptied it out first for them, then the fire department got to go in there and do the painting and order all the supplies that they needed and then get it all installed,” said Margaret Plumtree, Vauxhall mayor. “So I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m so excited to be able to see it.”
The goal of the training facility is to help the firefighters in Vauxhall and the surrounding area to continue to hone their skills and practice. As the closest training facility is about half an hour away, the facility will fill a need for the area.
“We want to make sure our firefighters are well trained, it is a volunteer service,” said Plumtree. “Especially something as dangerous as what they do; we want to make sure they are trained well, and are comfortable with what they’re doing.
“Now, they don’t have to drive. Which, a lot of times, training happens during the wintertime, so we’re putting a bunch of people out on the roads on the highway during the wintertime, where we have no control over the weather. Where this way, it’s right in town. It’s convenience, it’s training.”
While due to the construction of the facility, there will be no live fire exercises inside the building, smoke machines will be used to help simulate live fire scenarios. However, exercises outside the building would allow the use of live fires.
Plumtree hopes, as every fire training centre is different, they will be able to work together with other municipalities’ fire departments to train at other facilities, in exchange for using theirs, as well.
“Safety is one of the biggest things, right? We want to make sure that everyone who does volunteer with our fire department is well trained and is confident in doing the job.”
The grand opening of the training facility will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 11, starting at 5 p.m., with the ribbon-cutting ceremony taking place at 6 p.m.