Gorgeous new fire hall

The Osoyoos Volunteer Fire Department has moved into their new state-of-the-art fire station.

The $6M facility is a big step-up from the old space next to city hall.

Chief Rick Jones has been a volunteer firefighter for 35 years, and says his crews are excited to be up and running in the new and modern facility.

“More space, it’s safer, the other hall wasn’t very safe. It had a few problems now we don’t have to worry about,” said Jones, referring to the fact that they were not able to idle trucks inside the bay at the old building.

“Even taking the trucks out of the hall, fumes seemed to migrate over to the women who were working in the town office - we had many complaints about gas and truck smell over there.”

The new building features a ventilation system that hooked up to the tailpipe of each truck, and disengages automatically as the trucks rush out for a call.

Another big addition is a new training tower. In the past, the department had to borrow local buildings for training, creating obvious liability concerns. Firefighters can now practice rappelling from the multiple stories up, and running hose up and down the stairway which can be filled with smoke simulating a large structure fire.

New laundry facilities are big upgrades from the last fire hall's method for drying out gear; a classic clothing line.

Jones say he and two other volunteers spent about eight years working and the project, “from design, to where the plugs are, to bay sizes and stuff like that.”

In 2014 Osoyoos residents voted 58 per cent in favour of borrowing the $6M needed to build the new hall. Jones says the station belongs to the entire community and will set the department up for years of growth.

An open house and BBQ is being planned for the spring.

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