Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's city council moves towards adding two new fire stations

After meeting with St. John's Regional Fire Department's chief, Coun. Art Puddister said the city will pursue adding two new fire stations in St. John's.

Council agrees - in principle - to new stations but no money allocated just yet

Coun. Art Puddister's push for new fire halls in St. John's is gaining momentum. (CBC)

Coun. Art Puddister says now that city council has met with St. John's Regional Fire Department's chief, they have decided to pursue adding two new fire stations in the capital city. 

"I accepted the fact that we could agree in principle to move forward with two new fire stations," Puddister said.

"One in the north east in the Clovelly area and one in the south west of the city in Goulds."

St. John's is currently fixing up the Kenmount Station and will then look to find land for the new fire halls. 

Puddister said the motivation behind his push for the new stations was to improve response times to areas of the city. 

"I am glad to see that we are committed, basically in principle, to have two new stations," says Coun. Art Puddister. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

At the Nov. 21 meeting, City Manager Kevin Breen told council that the fire department is making the NFPA [National Fire Protection Association] standard in the area that the Goulds Volunteer Fire Department services.

But he said in the north east end of St. John's they are falling a little short. 

"Our objective is to respond within six minutes 90 per cent of the time and currently we are at about 85 per cent," he said.

"There is room to improve there. We've identified it as a concern and we are working on a plan to increase our fire fighting capacity in that area over the next two to three years."

Puddister feels the response time should be 100 per cent no matter where you live in the city. 

"If you are living in St. John's you need 100 per cent coverage 24-7. I am glad to see that we are committed, basically in principle, to have two new stations," said the councillor-at-large. 

Puddister said the plan is to keep an eye open for possible places to build a fire station in the north east end of the city and also to bulk up the location in the Goulds. 

Kevin Breen is the city manager in St. John's. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Right now that fire hall is a composite station, part volunteer and part professional fire fighters. 

"At some point in time in the future the Goulds Volunteer Fire Department, basically, will phase out and that part of our city will become another station operated 24-7 by our regional fire department."

St. John's Regional Fire Department is currently responsible for seven stations, including Goulds.

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