The Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department is hosting an informational open house to show the residents of Dashwood the plans for the proposed new firehall.
The event will take place, Saturday, June 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the fire department hall located at 230 Hobbs Road. There will also be a secondary open house to be held on Saturday, July 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a 3D walk through presentation by the architect, along with displays, drawings, and information available.
Don Alberg, chairman of the Dashwood Society, was instrumental in starting the fire department and building the original hall in 1985 to house two apparatus and 12 to 15 firefighters. Another bay was added in 1996 to house a new truck.
However, in 2012, the hall went through a seismic evaluation and the potential risks were identified. To upgrade the hall to meet today’s seismic and Work Safe requirements for the health and safety of the firefighters, the cost would have been more than replacing the entire building.
The Regional District of Nanaimo has decided to build a new firehall at an estimated cost of $4 million. The design for the firehall will be used as a template for halls the regional district plans to build in the future.
Training officer, Capt. Jeremy Morton, indicated they need a new hall as it has become extremely difficult to hold training sessions for the crew of 30 to 35 in the old building. He said there is a real need for storage space for the equipment and props.
Fire chief Nick Acciavatti sees a real need to be able to separate the equipment and apparatus from the small administration area. He likes the features of the new plan such as a washdown area, Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) storage, a workshop, a proper kitchen and lunchroom.
DVFD has worked closely with the RDN in the development of the project and is excited that they can share the plans with the community.
The proposed hall is budgeted to cost $4 million and if supported, would be built on the same site. An alternative approval process will be undertaken to gauge whether electors would approve a service and local authorization bylaw.