Red Deer Emergency Services staff pose next to a Canada 150 sign in front of the city’s newest fire station; (l-r) Mike Godman, Damian LaGrange, Cindy Sparrow, Bart Rowland, John Gelinas, Brian Makey, Paul Goranson, Robb Cook, Brad Hilkar-Readman, Kevin Bettesworth and Kevin Stelmaschuk. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

New fire station opens in Red Deer

There’s a new home for Red Deer fire medics.

Hundreds of local residents were on hand for the grand opening of Fire Station No. 3 in Lancaster on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s a lot of work putting something like this together … It’s a great feeling to actually walk into the building now that it’s open and it’s done. It’s fantastic,” said fire chief Brian Makey.

This station, located at 100 Lees St. beside the Collicutt Centre, is the second station to open in Red Deer this year after Fire Station No. 4 opened in Timberlands in January.

A lot of the station’s layout was put together with feedback from Red Deer Fire Services workers, Makey added.

“They were involved right from the beginning,” he said. “It was all designed by our staff so it’s really their home.”

It’s been a 10-year process to get the two stations built, Makey said. In his three years as chief, one of his top priorities was getting them up and running.

The newest station will provide services to the southeast part of the city. This location was chosen based on projected growth, emergency response times and access to major roadways.

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and Red Deer-South MLA Barb Miller spoke at the grand opening. Following their speeches, a firetruck drove through a red ribbon marking the official opening.

“We needed to build new stations in order to facilitate growth and development in our community and to ensure the safety of the Red Deerians we serve,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

Seeing so many people come out to the opening in support of the city’s firefighters was a nice sight, Veer said.

“The men and women of Red Deer Emergency Services are the pride of our city and our fire and ambulance services continue to be upheld as the model to aspire to across our province and country,” she said.

Following the ceremony in the apparatus bay, firefighters gave attendees the opportunity to tour of the new building. The tour showed off the gear room, staff areas, a small gym, dorm spaces and everything else the building has to offer.

People also had the chance to grab a free lunch, sit in the firetrucks and meet Sparky the Fire Dog before the day at the station was over.

The old No. 3 station on 32 Street is now Red Deer Emergency Services headquarters, housing administration, fire prevention and the training branch, along with the 911 call centre.

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