New fire hall on display

City of Parksville cuts the ribbon on renovated facility

Dignitaries cutting the ribbon at the fire hall were

Dignitaries cutting the ribbon at the fire hall were

The clouds parted and a large crowd gathered as the Parksville Volunteer Fire Department officially unveiled its shiny, brand new addition on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Parksville deputy fire Chief Marc Norris welcomed dignitaries and the public to the fire hall’s open house and official ribbon cutting.

Members of the public were invited to check out the new digs and enjoy some cake and refreshments, but not before hearing a bit of the history surrounding the fire department.

The expansion of the fire hall wasn’t without controversy and when fire Chief Doug Banks took to the podium before the official ribbon cutting, he spoke from the heart about the journey the project has taken.

“Thank god it is done,” he declared.

Construction of the three bay addition and complete renovation of the existing hall started in spring 2010 and includes consolidated storage of important equipment, improved administration and training areas and much needed shower facilities for decontamination.

Banks said the new facility gives them a proper base to work from and a proper training facility so they can provide a high level of service.

He added the new shower facility will allow their members to get cleaned up after they have attended a fire incident and not take contaminants home.

Micheal Matzanke, president of the Parksville Volunteer Firefighters Association, told the gathering the new facility will mean no more cramped quarters and poor lighting for their members.

“I have heard comments like ‘it’s big’ and ‘it’s awesome.’  The addition allows us to do our job in a safe and effective manner and do it much better,” said Matzanke.

There have been no upgrades to the fire hall since it was built in 1974 and with a growing population as well as increasing emergency and non emergency calls, the community outgrew the fire hall long ago.

The design of the addition can accommodate any future expansion.

Acting Mayor Chris Burger, who participated in the opening ceremonies, welcomed two special guests on Saturday.

John and Vivian Leakey were advised by city council back in July 2010 on their 60th wedding anniversary that the lane behind the fire hall would be named after them.

John said he likes the sound of Leakey Lane and said it was an exciting day for them.

The Parksville pioneer, who was born in 1927, used to milk cows in the morning and then deliver the milk before attending school in what is now the Society of Organized Services building. He said has seen a lot of changes to the city over the years and is honoured to have his name on the street sign.


Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville council receives letter from B.C.’s health minister regarding free prescription contraception

Letter was in response to Parksville’s support for universal no-cost measure

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read