The City of Chestermere is considering building a new fire station.

On Tuesday's City Council meeting, interim Chief Administrative Officer Pat Vincent brought forth the motion that council approve and direct a third party to review Fire Services procedures. This review would include assessing the suitability of equipment and assessing the requirement for a new fire station.

Back in May the Official Administrator approved the 2024 capital budget for all departments with the exception of Fire Services. This was done so the newly elected council would have the opportunity to review the five-year fire capital plan and approve the fire departments purchases.

A part of this capital plan includes bringing in a new station to the city, with the plan outlining that there are areas in the south and west part of Chestermere that do not meet the 10-minute response time required by High Intensity Residential Fire regulations. 

"We do not meet the standard for fire response to parts of the western side of the community, and that puts people's lives and safety in jeopardy," said Vincent. "If construction of homes is to continue, it would add a cost of $35,000 to $40,000 to provide the type of fire protection required under the building code in the absence of not meeting fire response times, which would be an additional burden to an already expensive housing market."

The capital plan also mentions that some fire equipment takes over four years to deliver, so the plan would need to be executed in advance. 

Deputy Mayor Murray Grant was concerned that the fire department might not have the equipment they need.

"I want to make sure the fire department is not going without necessary equipment at this moment due to the review stalling any procurement. I just want to make sure we're not holding back on stuff that they need to save lives," commented Grant.

Grant's concerns were addressed by Kent Edney, director of community operations.

"At this time the fire services are well equipped with the equipment that they have. Most of the capital plan is forward looking," said Edney as he mentioned that some fire equipment takes over four years to deliver. "We're still looking out into 2028 and 2029 for the larger pieces of equipment that are in the capital plan."

According to Vincent, the review would take around three weeks to complete and would be at a budgeted cost of $25,000.

The motion for this third-party review was passed unanimously by council, with councillor Ritesh Narayan not voting as he was not present at the council meeting.