Final report from Firewise Consulting makes ten recommendations

Polsom advises that the employer has a “duty of care” to provide amenity areas with fitness and wellness facilities supporting the physical and mental health of volunteer and career staff.

  • May. 11, 2018 2:30 a.m.

A final report with ten recommendations for a new Creston Fire Station and a tour of Creston’s existing Fire Hall provided the focus for the Community Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee’s (ASC) eighth meeting May 9, 2018. Ernie Polsom of FireWise Consulting Ltd. presented his report to the committee with repeated reference to the complex regulatory and practical considerations involved in fire station design in B.C.

The report’s first recommendation is to ensure the functional design of the new Fire Hall is left to a professional design team that must include an architect, as required by legislation. Beyond the nondiscretionary aspects of a new fire station, this consultation should focus on the discretionary (nonmandatory) aspects of the project.

The report’s second recommendation is to select one of two downtown locations for the new Fire Hall: “These sites are Extra Foods Site 2 (Cook Street) and Bunker Site 4 (Vancouver Street).” Based on Polsom’s professional expertise, no other sites offer the same essential combination of space, functionality and response time.

Third, the FireWise report suggests that other potential occupants of the new Fire Hall (i.e., BC Ambulance and Search and Rescue) give due consideration to deadlines in the design process; if these parties are not able to respond in a timely manner, “the project should focus on development of a fire station that meets the needs of the Town and its regional partners, and may include opportunities for expansion at a future time.”

Among the remaining recommendations (including that the Fire Hall should reflect the architectural industry’s best practices, and that Creston Fire Rescue develop a long-term strategic plan for the Fire Hall), Polsom advises that the employer has a “duty of care” to provide amenity areas with fitness and wellness facilities supporting the physical and mental health of volunteer and career staff.

In closing, the ASC made the following comments:

• The ASC thanked Polsom for his excellent work, including the report and its recommendations

• ASC’s goal is to disseminate factual information to the Creston Valley community

• The ASC is focused upon building a long-term Creston Fire Hall specific to B.C.’s regulatory requirements

The ASC’s eighth meeting was held from 6:30 to 8:40 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Town of Creston’s Town Hall and at the Creston Fire Hall. Subsequent meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on select Wednesday evenings from May to June 2018, with the next meeting scheduled for May 16, 2018.

The ASC was formed to make recommendations to Council on solutions to address the deficiencies of the existing Fire Hall, in order to meet the province’s legislative/regulatory requirements and industry standards. To read copies of FireWise Consulting’s Creston Fire Station Report and Ernie Polsom’s presentation, click here.

Submitted by Kerry McArthur | Community Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee Facilitator | Communications Coordinator

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