The new La Glace Fire Hall is worth just over $2 million and is double the size of the previous Fire Hall. About 150 people got a look at the facility for the first time.
County Regional Fire Service Chief Dan Verdun says that the extra space has and will continue to be a game-changer for first responders.
“To have dedicated areas to appropriately train, practice, maintain equipment, and service things has made a huge difference for us in such a positive way. It also allows us to expand and look at additional options for recruiting and training because the site is substantially bigger. Our dedicated group was doing a fantastic job before, but with limited space is all.”
COVID-19 gathering restrictions didn’t allow for an event like this to happen previously but on Sunday, the new facility was celebrated for the first time with the community.
“It was a fantastic event and very well attended. We don’t have exact numbers but we believe 100-150 people showed up. The community of the Hamlet of La Glace came out for the event, as well as representatives from fire departments in our region,” he explains.
“We had bouncy castles and face painting for the kids, served lunch and then we moved on to the formal portion of the event. That’s when we did what we call a push-in ceremony, where we pushed in one of our brand new fire apparatus into the bay as kind of a tradition that fire departments follow.”
In addition to fire services, the La Glace Fire Department includes the only large animal rescue in the County.
“They’ve specialized in that for six years now. That includes specialized training and equipment to rescue animals such as horses, livestock, and cows,” Verdun says.
Many have had a hand in the project, but Verdun points to County of Grande Prairie council for their continued efforts to make the new Fire Hall a reality.
“We’d certainly like to thank them for all their hard work. Of course, none of this is possible without our first responders and volunteers. They are the ones that show up in the middle of the night when other people are having a bad day. We’re always looking for people to help, so if you’d like to give us a shout and join us on Thursday nights,” he adds.
The facility has been operational since July of 2020. The construction was made possible by a $1.57 million Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant from the provincial government. Planning for the project first began in 2018.