Minister opens new forest fire base

Minister opens new forest fire base

12 May 2017

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Canada –  A new $9.5 million fire response facility was officially opened in North Bay Friday.

The building, located on Voodoo Crescent in the city’s airport industrial business park, will serve as the Ministry of Natural Resources’ new fire management headquarters, consolidating fire crews and support staff from four locations under on roof.

Natural Resources Minister Kathryn McGarry, who was on hand for the opening, said there many benefit to new location, including reduced travel time for crews being more rapid deployment.

“It means that the resources can be deployed much more quickly so the response time is cut,” said McGarry, noting the facility also means some added job security for its 39 employees. “They’re here to stay and this facility is anchor in the community and beacon for them to know that their jobs are secure that the people in North Bay really appreciated what they do each and every day.”

The new headquarters will house seven FireRanger crews, as well as fire management support staff and includes warehouse, aerial operations and crew alert areas.

There is also dedicated aircraft parking for up to two CL-415 water bombers, two bird-dog planes and two helicopters.

The old headquarters, on Trout Lake Road, was built in the 1950s, and is not only separate from the airport, but outdated.

The city has expressed an interest in the building should is become surplus in order to expand the park land at Olmsted Beach.

“What we would like to do is complete that community park by securing that land,” said Mayor Al McDonald, noting the building would be levelled. “It would be a great legacy assest for the community to have.”

McGarry said those discussions are underway, noting the ministry is looking at the possible relocation of the remaining district MNR staff who are still stationed at Trout Lake Road location.

“It’s too early to say what will happen to that particular site at the moment,” she said.

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