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Aurora and Newmarket break ground on new fire headquarters

July 2, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Ground has officially been broken on the new headquarters for the Central York Fire Services.

Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas and Newmarket Mayor John Taylor joined Central York Fire Services (CYFS) Chief Ian Laing last week to officially kick off construction on Station 4-5 which will serve as both a new training centre and operational headquarters for the fire department serving both communities.

The new station, which is set to be complete as early as next fall, is situated on a four-acre parcel of land on Earl Stewart Drive near St. John’s Sideroad, opposite the Real Canadian Superstore.

Once complete, it will comprise of a 24,000 square foot facility with a price tag of $13.5 million which will be shared between Newmarket and Aurora on a roughly 60/40 split.

“Our Master Fire Plan identified the need for a centrally-located fire station,” said Chief Laing following the ground-breaking ceremony. “It is going to help us with our primary response in this area, which is being developed quite intensively. It is going to help us have backups to the four other fire stations in that we can respond quicker from the centre to any corner of the two communities and that will get us more resources on the scene quicker, which will hopefully make for better outcomes.”

For the last 10 years, the CYFS has been using the Town of Newmarket’s former Operations Centre for training purposes, but that location has proved challenging. Not only is it not a purpose-built training facility, it is located in the heart of a residential area.

“This will help us being more central and crews from Aurora and Newmarket can all respond here and train,” said Chief Laing. “There will be outdoor training facilities to deal with hazardous materials, vehicle extraction, high angle rescue, and it will also have some interior two-storey high spaces so that we can train for those skillsets in the wintertime. We won’t do live fire burning here. We might use smoke in our rescue scenarios, but we won’t be doing live fire burning. It has taken into account a lot of the things we do on a day to day basis and it is going to allow us to hone our skills and better serve the public.

“We think this is going to make us more efficient in what we do and how we do it, and that is a key component to our Master Fire Plan. Council has been very supportive and we went through a long design process and proved to them that we needed the space and proved to them that we needed the space and needed the ability to respond from multiple jurisdictions throughout the community.

“We’re looking forward to having it built and we think it will be about late next year, the fall or winter of 2021.”

In the meantime, both mayors reiterated their support for the joint initiative.

“This is going to provide both of our communities, but especially Aurora being right here at the corner of St. John’s and Earl Stewart, a better coverage for fire service within our community,” said Mayor Mrakas. It is going to provide for a safer environment for our residents and we always said we needed another station. There were a lot of gaps and this station is going to eliminate those gaps. It has been talked about for a long time and we’re so happy it is happening now. This is an exciting time for our Fire Service and both our communities.”

Added Mayor Taylor: “We know the public wants excellence in Fire Services and fire response and that is what we’re trying to provide here. Just as importantly, it is another example of Central York Fire Services’ success story where you’ve got the only two municipalities delivering fire services as one entity. That this is being built in Aurora is just as important to me as it is to Aurora because we’re in this together and it is one fire service.

“The residents of both communities will benefit, so it is a strong partnership delivering higher levels of service and we know the community wants to see that. Trust me: anyone who has experienced a fire knows the value of a good response from Fire Services and that is what we’re seeking to do.”

By Brock Weir



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