The new fire hall is much better suited to the fire apparatus that seems to be continually growing in size. The former hall was so tight that the bay doors had to be opened to check the unit’s oil.(Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

The new fire hall is much better suited to the fire apparatus that seems to be continually growing in size. The former hall was so tight that the bay doors had to be opened to check the unit’s oil.(Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue celebrates grand opening of new fire hall

By Sam Donnelly

On June 7, Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue, with assistance from Victims Services, provided hot dogs and hamburgers to visitors celebrating the grand opening of the new Castor fire hall. They also held tours for those who wanted to have a look around with over 250 people in attendance.

The grand opening marks the end of the journey that started in 2017 after it was decided that the fire rescue service had out-grown its original location.

According to fire Chief Patrick Kelly, the old fire hall lasted 40 years but wasn’t suitable anymore with the size of modern-day fire fighting equipment.

The new equipment fit inside the old fire hall, but it left very little room for moving around. Kelly described having to open the bay doors just to check the fire engine’s oil.

After deciding they needed a new fire hall, Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue started fundraising and looking for their new fire home.

According to Kelly, their new location on 56 street had recently been vacated and had the room they needed to expand. They took ownership in 2020 and have since been renovating the new location for use by adding office and meeting spaces and training rooms.

“My hope is the new hall will last another 40 years,” said Kelly.

Kelly mentioned that volunteer firefighters gave $30,000 dollars worth of labour cost to renovate the new fire hall. This included jack-hammering, installing re-bar and even adding the final touches like flooring and painting.

According to Kelly the new fire hall cost about 800,000 dollars. Adding in the renovations and other cost the whole endeavour cost $1.2 million dollars.

He said that the new fire hall’s additional space will allow them to put more additional focus on safety and training for the firefighters. They will also be able to take increased care of their equipment.

The new location should not affect response times, according to Kelly. He said that the new location will lead to better response times when heading outside of town.

The old fire hall remains open but is not currently being used for operations of any kind. At this time it is unclear what the old fire hall will be used for.

Kelly also took the time to mention that, Castor’s Volunteer Fire Rescue is looking for new volunteers. If you are interested you are encouraged to reach out to a fire service member for more details.

If you’d like to see the new fire hall for yourself you will find it at 5617 56 St. You’ll see it on your right as your leave town towards Highway 36.

Local NewsNews

 

The new fire hall also has a dedicated meeting room and training space. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

The new fire hall also has a dedicated meeting room and training space. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

A well attended barbecue was held on June 7 to mark the grand opening of the new Castor fire hall. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

A well attended barbecue was held on June 7 to mark the grand opening of the new Castor fire hall. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

The new Castor fire hall has a dedicated, ventilated, room for firefighter bunker gear, allowing it to off-gas in between calls. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

The new Castor fire hall has a dedicated, ventilated, room for firefighter bunker gear, allowing it to off-gas in between calls. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

Phillip Pals pauses from enjoying his hamburger to pose with Courage the fire dog during the Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue open house. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

Phillip Pals pauses from enjoying his hamburger to pose with Courage the fire dog during the Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue open house. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)