Why does the site need to be 1.5 acres?

    We are looking for a home for Fernie’s Fire Hall No. 1. It will enhance response times, provide better public safety, and is an urgently needed facility that will be an essential addition to the community.  

    The Fernie Fire and Emergency Services Department (FFESD) is a composite fire department. Not only do they provide fire suppression, they also provide the following services to the City of Fernie and the surrounding area:

    • Fire Responder Emergency Medical Services
    • Emergency Planning and Emergency Program Management
    • Hazardous Materials Response
    • Fire Prevention and Education
    • Public Safety and Assistance
    • Community Outreach
    • Fire Investigations
    • The following Rescue Operations:
      • Confined space
      • Swiftwater
      • Ice
      • Motor vehicle
      • High-angle rope

    This means they need space for the people and equipment required to provide all of these services to the citizens of Fernie. 

    This fire hall will be a newly built facility and must meet current standards. 

    Major FFESD Program ComponentsNotesEstimated Required Area
    Fire Hall – Admin / Residents Quarters
    Includes admin, offices, meeting areas, living quarters.
    Fire Hall – Fire Operations
    Includes apparatus bays, hose tower, and other fire operations areas.
    On-Site Parking / Vehicular Maneuverability / Unhindered Access

    Includes 30 private stalls, 10 public stalls, drive aisles, and turning radius areas for apparatus vehicles.  

    Available on-site parking is essential to elevating the level of service of the FFESD as volunteer firefighters save essential life-saving time when not having to search for parking off-site when responding to a call.

    Accommodations for separated access between public and private traffic to ensure fire vehicles are not obstructed when called into service.

    Outdoor Amenity / Site Service / Bylaw Zoning Requirements
    Includes landscaping, amenity spaces, site service areas (generator, electrical transformer, waste & recycling, etc..), and anticipation of zoning setback requirements.
    Accommodation for 15% Future Growth
    As this is anticipated to be a 50+ year service building, provisions for a level of future growth needs to be provided for anticipated density growth within existing City of Fernie service area.  This may result in an additional apparatus bay (with auxiliary apron, driveway, and maneuverability space), additional fire operation spaces, and more resident quarter spaces for capacity growth.
    Total Area:

    Why does the fire hall need to be located on the west side of the CPR tracks?

    The previous fire hall was located on the west side of the train tracks, but had significant structural and functional issues leading to it being decommisioned. The FFESD is currently operating out of the Operations Facility at 1492b Railway Avenue, which is on the east side of the train tracks.

    Currently, 81.4% of the total emergency calls received by the FFESD come from the west side of the tracks. This allows is to compare response times between the two facilities, one being on the east side, and one being on the west side of the tracks. Being delayed by train crossings greatly impacts response times. Since moving to the current facility, FFESD has been held up by a train at the railway crossing 11 times, with a delay between 1 to 7 minutes.

    The chart below shows how overall response times have been impacted since the FFESD moved to the current location:

    Location of Fire HallAverage Response Time
    Fire Emergency
    Average Response Time
    Medical Emergency
    Previous Fire Hall (West)8:588:06
    Current Fire Hall (East)12:469:37

    Why didn't you approach private landowners to try to purchase an appropriate piece of land?

    In order to maintain a fair and transparent process, the City of Fernie issued an Expression of Interest for any parties that had an interested in offering land for this project, or had an interest in sharing space or funding opportunities with the fire hall. 

    While the EOI was open, land owners with promising site options were asked to submit a response to the EOI; however, the City of Fernie is only able to work with the responses that were received through this process. Recognizing the urgent need for a new facility for the FFESD and the citizens of Fernie, these sites were considered within the size and time constraints of the project.