Fire Station 4 was relocated this month to a brand new facility in Timberlands.
The fire station moved from Davison Drive in Deer Park to 406 Townsend St. to improve response times for current residents and for developments in Red Deer’s north east.
Red Deer fire chief Brian Makey said the $7.5-million fire station includes a tower that will allow firefighters to practice high angle rescues and repel drills.
“No other hall has that. It’s a real unique piece of equipment that we have now,” said Makey on Monday.
Multi-use training areas were incorporated into the stairwell, apparatus bay and in multiple places on the roof.
He said a design committee made up of fire department and other city staff worked collaboratively with the architect and contractor.
“They travelled around Alberta and looked at the various new stations built across Alberta and looked at best practices and the best ideas they could get.”
He said the design allows firefighters to get out the station even faster with a shorter route from the living quarters and with overhead bay doors that open quicker.
The department has already received calls from others interested in the new fire station and Makey expected there will soon be some visitors.
The decision to move Fire Station 4, as well relocate Fire Station 3 to Lancaster, were made following a 2014 study.
Council approved $15 million in the 2015 capital budget to relocate two of the city’s five fire stations.
Makey said the total cost of the stations increased to about $18 million, but the project should come in under budget.
Significant cost-savings were achieved by using one design made to suit the two new stations with only slight variations.
Construction of the new station in Timberlands began about eight months ago and has been in use since Jan. 17. An average of six staff are on site and it can accommodate up to 10 in preparation for long-term growth.
An open house is anticipated later this year.
The new Fire Station 3, at 30th Avenue and Lees Street, is expected to open in 2017. Its existing location on 32nd Street will become a dispatch centre, with fire prevention and administrative offices.
The city has not yet determined what will happen to the old Fire Station 4 building that has been in use since 1999.