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HomeNewsNew Northern Fire Base opens in North Bay

New Northern Fire Base opens in North Bay

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Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kathryn McGarry was on hand today for the opening of the new Northern Fire Base at Jack Garland Airport. She made the announcement alongside Mayor Al McDonald and quite a few firefighters were on hand as well. The facility consolidates fire crews and support staff from four locations into one building on the airport grounds. McGarry says this will allow for faster deployment of fire crews to the surrounding communities and forests.

The opening comes just over a year after the provincial government invested $9.5-million into the project. The new headquarters will create and maintain a total of 39 jobs in the North Bay area, and the new facility will be a safer, more accessible work environment for firefighters. McGarry says it’s incredibly important that the base is staying in North Bay as part of the aviation hub. She says it means the resources can be deployed much more quickly so the response times can be cut. McGarry added it means crews have the equipment right at hand, and they have all the facilities to clean, inventory and repair equipment when it returns to base from battling fires.

McGarry says the new base is important for the men and women at the base, who in the face of forest fires go rushing in while everyone else runs away. She says fighting fires in the wild is extremely difficult. McGarry says firefighters often have to cut their own paths, they have to put their pumps into water areas that are slippery and moss covered, and their feet and their boots are often wet. McGarry added some of them are often out fighting fires for days at a time. She says the new facility will allow firefighters to decompress and debrief comfortably after dealing with fires.

The new base replaces the old one on Trout Lake Road that was built in the 1950s that had become overcrowded and was separate from the airport.

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