A fix for fire-paramedic stations

Emergency service unveils plan to build, rebuild, replace facilities


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If you're old, inconvenient or simply out of shape, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service wants to get rid of you.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/02/2010 (4802 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If you’re old, inconvenient or simply out of shape, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service wants to get rid of you.

The city’s emergency service has unveiled a four-year plan to replace five outmoded or inconveniently located fire-paramedic stations, rebuild two deteriorating buildings in the same location and build two new facilities to serve new suburbs.

According to a report that comes before city councillors on Monday, roughly one third of the city’s 31 fire-paramedic stations are "reaching the end of their practical application life" or are located in places "no longer deemed acceptable by today’s emergency-response standards."

None of the buildings is actually falling apart. But maintenance costs in some of the structures are skyrocketing to the point where replacement makes more sense than repairs.

"They’re getting to the point where their heating systems are less and less efficient and we’re having to put more and more money in to maintain roofs," deputy chief Reid Douglas said Thursday in an interview.

The station-replacement plan will take place in two stages, with two relocations, one rebuild and a brand-new station all planned for this year.

Only $2.9 million exists in the city’s capital budget to accomplish all of this in 2010. The actual cost is bound to be higher, but the report that comes before city council does not include a price tag for the work.

"We’ve left a blank canvas in there," said Douglas, explaining that a series of requests for proposals will be issued to private construction firms following Monday’s meeting.

The city may enter into public-private partnerships to conduct some of the work, he said. Or it may choose conventional financing, if that turns out to be cheaper.

The work to be conducted this year involves the relocation of Station 11 in St. James and Station 12 in River Heights, the reconstruction of Station 18 in Charleswood and the construction of a new station near the new southeast Winnipeg suburb of Sage Creek.

St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal, who’s been lobbying for this new station since he returned to council in 2006, said he was pleased to see it’s finally coming but concerned the construction plan does not include a start date.

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, however, said he’s confident all the 2010 work can be accomplished.

"I like the fact they’ve done their homework, I like what they’re presenting and I’m sure they’ll do whatever they can to get it built this year," Katz said.

The second phase of the plan, slated to take place in 2012 and 2013, calls for three more relocations, another rebuild and another new station. Two of those relocations will eliminate stations that are located in places that hamper emergency response times, the fire-paramedic service states in its report.

The fire-paramedic service’s goal is to be able to send an emergency vehicle to any city property within 4.5 minutes. Right now, most of the city can be reached in less than 3.5 minutes, but response times for the outlying fringes of some residential areas are five minutes or longer.

The construction of a Sage Creek station will eliminate the city’s biggest trouble spot, according to a response-time map prepared by the fire-paramedic service.


bartley.kives @freepress.mb.ca

New digs for emergency crews


The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service has a four-year plan to replace aging stations. Here’s what’s coming before council’s protection and community services committee on Monday:







— Source: Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service

Phase One (work in 2010):


Station 11 at 200 Berry St., which was built in 1912, will be relocated to a new Station 11 that will be built nearby, possibly right next door. The existing station will be declared surplus and sold.

Station 12 at 1710 Grosvenor Ave., which was built in 1956, will be relocated to the vicinity of Grant Avenue, between Waverley Street and Kenaston Boulevard. The existing building will be declared surplus and sold.

Station 18 at 5000 Roblin Blvd., which was built in 1942, will be replaced at its existing site. A stand-alone ambulance station at 2325 Grant Ave. will be closed and the ambulance will be moved into the new Station 18.

A brand-new Station 27 will be built in the vicinity of Bishop Grandin Boulevard and Lagimodiere Boulevard to serve the new Sage Creek development. A pumper crew will be moved from Station 9 on Marion Street.

Phase Two (work proposed for 2012-13):


Station 13 at 199 Lilac St. may be moved to Pembina Highway at Waller Street, once a police station at the site is relocated. The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service considers the existing location inconvenient.

Station 15 at 1083 Autumnwood Dr. would be relocated somewhere in the area of Speers Road and Elizabeth Road. The existing station’s unique architectural design is considered impractical, as the WFPS has pegged the cost of building a new staircase inside the building at $450,000. The residential location of the existing station is also considered inconvenient. It will be declared surplus and sold off.

Station 19 at 320 Whytewold Rd., also considered an inconvenient location, would be relocated to the vicinity of Portage Avenue and Moray Street. A stand-alone paramedic station at 2490 Portage Ave. would be closed and its staff would be assigned to the new Station 19.

A new fire-paramedic station would be built in the Waverley West area. A pumper crew from Station 23 on Dalhousie Drive would move in.

Station 4 on Osborne Street, which was built in 1958, would be rebuilt at its existing site. The building is in rough shape, but recent upgrades should allow it to remain operational for a few more years.


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