It’s been a long time coming, but the Paint Lake Fire Hall has now been expanded, so all trucks can fit inside.
The hall used to be a small 200-by-200-foot room that fit an old City of Thompson ambulance, which was converted into a command vehicle, as well as another truck that was donated from Kelsey Generating Station and Manitoba Hydro.
One member of the department said that having those two trucks in one room was not easy.
In 2012 the hall received another truck that sat outside drained for two years because there was no space for it. The truck that sat outside was the most capable truck out of the three.
The volunteer fire department hasn’t had it easy with finding funding and money for the hall expansion. The majority of funds have come through fundraising events like raffles and wild boar roasts. The Paint Lake Volunteer Fire Department kicked in an additional $7,000 for the construction of the original building from their savings.
For the large building expansion a bank loan had to be obtained and each road-accessible cottager will be charged an annual fee, which will go to the repayment of the loan.
One long time firefighter, who would rather not be named, says the new building was needed. “This expansion gives us faster response times, a better training area, we’re not having to meet in someone’s home with our snowy boots. We don’t have to worry about our equipment freezing up.”
On June 28 the department hosted a grand reopening of the hall, with a barbecue, as well as a tour of the new building.
The original hall will be used for firefighter meetings, training, and could potentially be used to rent out. The volunteers are now looking ahead at replacing the truck from Kelsey Dam in the near future.