By Jaime Polmateer
The Clearwater Fire Department recently received a new addition to its facility after buying a building from Wells Gray Search and Rescue (WGSAR).
The deal had been in the works for roughly a year, with the building being moved to the Clearwater Fire Department’s property on July 10.
“(WGSAR) asked if we wanted to take it, so we’ve got it moved now, we’re going to fix it all up and use it for a training room to do room searches and all different sorts of drills for firefighting,” said Fire Chief Mike Smith.
“We’ll also set it up as a second classroom and other uses could be another type of office, or room for different types of training we’ll do if we need a second classroom.”
WGSAR has completed preparing the site for its new building that will take the place of the one it sold to the Clearwater Fire Department, which is expected to arrive some time this week.
Rick Pesklevits, president of WGSAR, said the new building will arrive in Clearwater from Kamloops in three sections, which will be installed by crane.
He added some minor traffic complications are likely.
As for the fire department, having the extra building will allow more time for training because members of the department previously had to use the firehall, which meant taking the fire trucks out to set up a training room, then moving them back in when training was over.
“This will allow us to have something set up so when it’s time to do training we’re ready and can just go in, not having to set anything up and worry about having to take it all down,” Smith said.
“This allows us to do a lot more training and get more use out of the time we have.”
WGSAR spent 15 years in the building, which is a double-wide mobile unit that used to be the offices of BC Hydro, but outgrew the facility when the group began struggling with inadequate training space, equipment storage, radio communications, workshop room and meeting areas.
Typical sources of funding for WGSAR normally wouldn’t be enough to buy a new building for its headquarters, but funding initiatives from the provincial government are helping allow for the investment, putting in $104,000 toward the endeavour.
The cost is estimated at $175,000 for the delivered building with added costs of up to $20,000 for the site preparation, surveys, permits, plumbing, electrical work, installation and improvements to the septic system.