Fire fighters in Burnaby, British Columbia, are welcoming news that the Canadian government will contribute $30 million to support operational costs for a new fire station in the fast-growing city.
The funding was announced July 30 by Liberal MP Terry Beech (Burnaby North-Seymour) and will be used for ongoing operation of a fire station to be built on Burnaby Mountain, an ecologically sensitive area that’s home to a growing residential community.
Burnaby Local 323 President Jeff Clark says the 10,000 residents in the area have had safety concerns dating back to 2002. The recent expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which will triple in size, has raised significant concerns in the event of a tank farm fire as it is situated next to the only two access roads to the mountain.
“A new fire station in the vicinity of the tank farm will allow us to meet the NFPA 1710 standard, add more fire fighters and have the resources available for training and infrastructure to enhance our emergency preparedness,” Clark says, adding the IAFF’s mandate to encourage locals to get involved in political action also played a role.
Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, who is a former IAFF 6th District Vice President, Burnaby Local 323 president and British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Association president, also welcomed the announcement and thanked the federal government for its commitment.
“It’s an important step towards keeping this vibrant community and sensitive ecological area safe,” he says. “The Burnaby Fire Department is well-trained, and this investment ensures that they will be well equipped to deal with changing emergency management needs of the community.”