Project Close-out Report
With the fire hall now completed, and the fire department fully operational from the new hall, CVRD staff have developed a project close-out report. The purpose is to provide the Hornby Island community with an overview of the fire hall project including a timeline and financial review, and to reflect on the challenges overcome by the team and lessons learned.
On February 11, 2018 Hornby Island Fire Rescue officially opened the new fire hall with a grand-opening celebration under sunny skies. It started with a parade from the old fire hall to the new building, led by past and present fire fighters. Once at the new hall, a traditional "wetting down" ceremony took place to welcome the new apparatus to the fleet. The truck was sprayed down, then pushed into the bay by the fire fighters. The Fire Chief and firefighters organized a very special event that was well attended by community members, select committee members, visiting fire chiefs, CVRD Chair Bruce Jolliffe, and CVRD staff. Work continues by our volunteers with finishing touches as they settle in and make this fire hall their new home. We are still gathering the final invoices and identifying the final project costs which will be posted with anticipated completion in April.
Learn more about Hornby Island Fire Rescue.
With more than 45 years of service, the Hornby Island fire rescue department identified a need to replace the aging and unsafe fire hall to better serve the citizens of Hornby Island with medical first responder, fire protection, technical rescue, and ambulance services.The CVRD board established a select committee in 2008 of Hornby Island residents to review the inspections and reports and to analyze the options available to address the need. Based on the recommendations of the select committee, the regional district board endorsed the option of building a new fire hall on Hornby Island and directed that public consultations begin with the citizens of Hornby Island towards addressing the identified need.
As the development of a new fire hall is a major decision for the citizens of Hornby Island, an informed and forthright discussion was essential to arrive at the best solution. Fire Rescue staff and volunteers as well as residents were involved in the discussion to help shape the next 50 years of emergency services on Hornby Island.
The original fire hall was built in stages from 1968 to 1997. Since that time, a number of studies and inspections confirmed that the building had a number of structural deficiencies, and became functionally obsolete as a fire hall. Engineers, building inspectors, the Fire Commissioner, the fire fighters, the select committee and the CVRD board recognized these deficiencies and recommended that a new fire hall be constructed.
Rationale for constructing a new fire hall for Hornby Island
- The original fire hall building was functionally obsolete and no longer met the space requirements of multi-service emergency responders.
- The original fire hall land was terraced and had insufficient room for training and parking.
- There is currently no “post disaster” building on Hornby Island.
- The bay doors were too narrow for modern emergency response apparatus.
- There was no secure water source or dedicated septic system available at the current fire hall.
- Hornby Island residents may pursue acquiring the old fire hall from the province for other community purposes.
- Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation can potentially provide a $300 to $500 savings in homeowner insurance premiums. The net tax increase with a new fire hall is approximately $45 for the average home.
- The original fire hall was likely to fail during an earthquake, right when the community requires emergency responder services the most.
- The current fire hall was not a safe, functional or efficient work place for volunteer emergency responders.
A referendum was held in April 2015 for a new fire hall. A majority of voters in the Hornby Island fire protection service provided a definitive response by voting yes to borrowing funds to assist in the construction of the project.
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