East Sooke Fire Department

East Sooke Fire Department

East Sooke Fire Department to unveil new firehall

Dignitaries gather Saturday to open new $2.5-million facility on East Sooke Road

Christmas will come early this year for East Sooke Fire and Rescue staff and volunteers, who will now be operating from a new, state-of-the art fire hall.

To celebrate, East Sooke Fire and Rescue will have a grand opening ceremony on Saturday (Dec. 12), at 1 p.m.

Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan, T’Sou-Ke First Nation Chief Gordon Planes, Capital Regional District chair Nils Jensen, CRD Juan de Fuca Director Mike Hicks, East Sooke Fire Commission chair George May and East Sooke Fire Chief Roger Beck will give short speeches followed by a ribbon cutting and tour of the facility.

The location of the new fire hall is 6071 East Sooke Rd., replacing the old fire hall at 1397 Copper Mine Rd.

The two-storey, 11,000-square- foot building can house six vehicles thanks to its six bays, five of which have already been filled: two tenders, a fire engine, a first-responder vehicle and a trailer.

Other features include a radio room, rack room, classrooms, laundry and storage room, a kitchen, activity room, washrooms and three offices. In other words, more than enough room to house the 28 volunteer firefighters and their equipment.

The modern facility was also built for the times and this part of the world with longevity in mind. Its all-steel construction allows it to fare well against the threat of forest fire, a feature that, thankfully, was sought from the beginning, said George May, chair, East Sooke Fire Commission.

“We’re happy the design went in favour of a steel building. It’s nice to have it finally done, it was a lot of work,” May said, adding that the new hall comes after two years of planning, budgeting and construction.

Strength was also in mind. The facility is earthquake-proof, and is built strategically on high ground, so it can survive any tsunami activity that may pass through the region.

It’s also what May and Hicks call a “post-disaster” building, so it can serve as a refuge for the people of East Sooke in the case of a serious emergency.

All that glitz may sound expensive, but May pointed out the community wanted a fire hall that was going to be modern, not crippling to their wallets.

And despite several delays in the design process and availability of materials, the new fire hall still retains the least cost per square foot of any fire hall on the Island.

The building was constructed by Verity Construction for a cost of $2,592,100, which was partially funded with a $150,000 Juan de Fuca Gas Tax contribution, according to a CRD report.

The East Sooke Fire Department also put $564,800 into the pot. The East Sooke Community will carry an additional loan of $1.8 million over the next 10 years.

The old fire hall won’t just become an empty husk, either.

While the East Sooke Fire Commission will continue to manage it, the Juan de Fuca land-based Search and Rescue team will be moving its operation to the top floor with three truck bays, offices and meeting room. On the bottom floor, the East Sooke community will utilize the meeting room, kitchen and washrooms.

“They [East Sooke residents] have built a first-class fire hall, kept their valued community hall and provided a home for our JDF Search and Rescue. I hope they come out and meet their volunteers that made it happen,” Hicks said.

The East Sooke Fire and Rescue crew will also be getting a new fire engine that will replace the current one sometime this month.

Just Posted

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read