HomeNewsIsland & CoastNew fire hall in Nanaimo officially opens with unveiling of Snuneymuxw pole...

New fire hall in Nanaimo officially opens with unveiling of Snuneymuxw pole  

Delegations from across the city gathered at the new Nanaimo Fire Hall for its grand opening and to unveil the newly created pole by Snuneymuxw master carver Noel Brown.  

Fire Chief Tim Doyle says having a connection to First Nations has always been a part of the new hall’s conceptual design and since the first public engagement session in July 2019. 

Doyle adds he believes having such an important structure erected in front of the station shows a sense of unity within the community.

“I think it ties our community together, and welcomes it,” he says. “It brings people from all backgrounds together and unites them.” 

The new fire hall has been in the works for close to three years and according to Doyle, has allowed for a more centralized area making it easier and more efficient for responders. 

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 “We are fully moved into the station,” he says. “All our divisions, fire prevention, command staff, and firefighters are here, and we have been responding out of this station for the past year.” 

Doyle says along with housing fire personnel, the new station will also act as a home to the emergency operations center and several other key emergency personnel within the city. 

“We have our emergency manager, who operates out of the third floor and houses modern technology to respond to a wide variety of calls,” he says. “The building is also post-disaster and houses all resources, even its own power, if needed. 

“It can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year totally self-sufficient.” 

Nanaimo Fire says there are no current plans to improve the other facilities at this time, but Doyle says he agrees there could be more demand for another station as the community continues to grow. 

“We do needs assessments with city staff, and with continued growth, we could see demand for another station increase,” he says. “When the time comes for another one to be built it will be another modern iteration of this station.” 

He says nothing has been identified yet for growth, but there is a plan to grow the department through three phases and it could mean more resources will be needed. 

“There is a phase three of the master plan which we are currently implementing the first two of,” Doyle says. “We are hiring more firefighters over the next two years, and they grow we will do renovations to accommodate the growth.” 

The new station pays homage to its roots by incorporating the past into the current design including a relic from 9/11.  

Doyle says bringing all these pieces together really embodies the strength of the community. 

“It ties our community with art from Noel Brown, right down to the colours chosen for the trucks,” he says. “The colours were picked to recognize the Black Diamond Engine Company that was in the late 1800’s and all those colours are displayed to bring unity to our brand.” 

The new fire hall at 666 Fitzwilliam Street cost $20 million which is $3 million more than the original price put forward in June of 2020, but Doyle says they have used every bit of it and nothing more is needed. 


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