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Vernon  

New hall ready to go

For almost 40 years the BX/Swan Lake fire hall served the needs of the community. Recently completed renovations to the hall will allow fire crews to continue that work for many decades to come.

The hall was originally built in 1977 and while the population grew, more equipment and personnel were stuffed into the aging building.

But now the 32 paid volunteer firefighters have an expanded hall to work out of, a hall large enough to house all their equipment and meet their training needs.

Kevin Dalgarno, BX/Swan Lake fire prevention officer, said the renovation – which cost just over $1 million – has added two new bays, allowing for all of the equipment to be on hand for an even quicker response.

Prior to the renovation, a vital piece of equipment had to be stored on the property of one of the volunteers.

The sprinkler protection unit and the truck used to haul it are now stored in one of the bays.

"The unit is deployed to protect homes during an interface fire," said Dalgarno. "That is for the North Okanagan Regional District, but it also responds provincially. It gets deployed two, three four times a year outside of our response area."

The expanded hall allows for all seven pieces of equipment to be stored under one roof.

“That is so important. The ability for people to respond, go to fire scenes and/or emergency calls and not have to run over to the other storage area,” said Dalgarno. “We had a couple interface fires last year where we didn't have the equipment in the hall. People were showing up here and they had to respond over there, there was a bit of a delay but now everything is very quick.”

To show off the new space, the fire hall will be hosting an open house Saturday starting at 11 a.m. where people can get a tour of the new building and see all the equipment.

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