Steveston Fire Hall - a beacon at night

The two-storey metal and glass building on the corner of Steveston Highway and No. 2 Road stands as a beacon in the night with its lit red glass windows. The structure is the new home of the Steveston Fire Hall, replacing the Number Two Hall, which was built nearly four decades ago (1972). After 20 months of construction, the environmentally friendly new hall is opening its doors to the public.

Richmond Fire-Rescue is hosting an open house this Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to showcase its many green features, including a 60 per cent green roof, its steel and pine beetle kill wood finishes, (similar to the Richmond Oval) as well as its high technology features.

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The News was given an advance tour of the 8,300 square-foot LEED gold certified building with Kirby Graeme, spokesman for Richmond Fire-Rescue.

The crew was in temporary quarters on the site until they moved into the new building this June, said Graeme.

As you enter the modern fire hall, to the left is a community meeting room, available at no charge to small nonprofit organizations or community groups. It is equipped with a new computer and audiovisual technology.

Beside that community space is the training and recovery room. This room is equipped with comfy, Lazy Boy style chairs, a DVD player and large flat screen television.

This is where we will conduct CPR training and any other training needed for our guys, he said, adding there is a staff of 44 for four rotations on 24/7.

The building is decidedly contemporary, with clean lines, LED motion sensor lighting throughout and little on the walls.

The large, airy kitchen is a chefs dream, with stainless steel, commercial size appliances.

Well, its a fact that some of our guys are really good cooks, he quipped.

Upstairs are the lockers, four individual dorms with showers and a fully equipped gym.

Its state-of-the-art equipment similar to whats at the Richmond Oval, said Graeme.

And, yes, there is a traditional and operational pole although its rarely used.

Back downstairs, Graeme showed off the hall with its 12 metre (39 feet) high training, hose drying tower and two apparatus bays.

The News was there as the Cadillac of fire trucks roared into its bay.

Our new pump truck is a high-tech Salisbury, he said.

Outside, there is a patio area with large barbecue and seating area.

In the front of the building, on the concrete slab pedestal, which has the name of the hall, will be a public art piece we dont know which one yet, added Graeme.

Meanwhile, Graeme said the winner of the Name the Mascot competition will be unveiled on Saturday.

We received hundreds of entries to name our Dalmatian fire dog mascot and the winner will receive a gift certificate, added Graeme.

To further engage the community, the hall held a Grade 5 poster drawing competition titled What the Fire Department Means to Me.

The winner receives a gift certificate, as well as the winning drawing will be made into a puzzle, to be given to elementary school age children throughout the city as prizes.

The community is invited to come and celebrate the opening of the Steveston Fire Hall, 11011 No. 2 Road, on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be many activities and a ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Mayor Malcolm Brodie, fire chief John McGowan, and other local dignitaries. Please note there will be no parking at the hall. The public is encouraged to park free at either Steveston secondary, 9600 No. 2 Rd. or Westwind elementary, 11371 Kingfisher Dr. where there will be free shuttle busses available. Shuttles will run from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SIDEBAR: Highlights of the Grand Opening Day events

11:30 a.m. to noon official Opening Ceremonies

12:30 to 12:45 p.m. Rescue demonstration: auto extrication

1:30 to 1:45 p.m. Fire extinguisher demonstration

2:30 to 2:45 p.m. Rescue demonstration: Auto extrication

3:30 to 3:45 p.m. Fire extinguisher demonstration

Throughout the event:

Fire Hall self-guided tour (see all six stations)

Check out the newest and oldest fire trucks

Food and popcorn

Face painting ad temporary tattoos

Kids bouncy and slide

Safety exhibits

Fire-Rescue Dalmatian Mascot

Snorkel the clown

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