Construction is now complete on a new training facility for Sylvan Lake’s fire department, and this mean the town’s firefighters can be better prepared than ever to deal with emergencies.
The new facility, which consist of eight seas cans, was put together in July. The fire department had its first training evolution in there on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
“We didn’t really have anything before this facility, just a few ATCO shacks,” said Cliff Brausen, fire chief. “Almost all of the training we need to do, we can do with this facility.”
The project cost the town $295,000, $10,000 of which the fire department raised through casinos. The project was part of the town’s 10-year capital plan and was supposed to be completed in 2021; however, during the pandemic there was a shortage of sea cans and Brausen said their contractor couldn’t source sea cans for a price they were willing to pay.
The facility was built by a Canadian company, Fire Training Solutions, who specialize in building these types of facilities. Each sea can is 40 feet long, eight feet wide and nine-and-a-half feet tall.
“For the membership, this is a huge, huge boost,” said Brausen. “We’ve been trying to accomplish some of this training through other means – sourcing buildings of no use to other people; a lot of training inside fire hall, which was never built for that. We do training Wednesday nights and there’s very little training that we cannot do in Sylvan Lake on a Wednesday night now.”
Sylvan Lake’s fire department has 32 paid-on-call members and two full-time members.
In order to complete the construction, Marchant Crane Inc., out of Sylvan Lake, donated their machine and labour.
“That’s a huge donation,” said Brausen. “We were just over a day getting it all put together.”