The move is official for Saskatoon Fire Station No. 3.
At 8 a.m. Wednesday, the newly-built station at 2613 Clarence Avenue was officially put into commission — meaning the previous location at the corner of Taylor Street and York Avenue is now closed.
“When we started this process (five years ago), our goal was to pick a location that could first-off, better serve the citizens of Saskatoon,” Fire Chief Morgan Hackl said at the opening.
This isn’t the first move for Fire Station No.3. It was first located at 612 11th St. East in 1908, and was moved to 1906 York Ave in 1958.
— Daniella Ponticelli (@Ms_dponticelli) July 18, 2018
The latest move further southeast allowed the city to avoid building an additional station in Stonebridge, resulting in a one-time savings of $6 million in capital costs.
Hackl added that to staff a new station with 20 new firefighters costs around $3 million a year.
The fire chief noted the relocation to Clarence Avenue supported the city’s priority of getting emergency response times under four minutes, while avoiding overlap with other stations.
“We were actually able to achieve both, with this one move,” he said.
While initial reaction to the relocation was mixed, Hackl said a number of consultations took place to hear concerns.
“There are always some challenges,” he said. “At the end of the day, I feel we have done a good job of working with the citizens to come up with the best solution.”
One of the most notable results of those discussions is the addition of community rooms inside the new station.
While the two rooms will primarily be used for fire department and other civic staff training, it’s also open to public bookings.
“With our neighbour, St. Martin’s United Church, and the community associations, we will provide this space to them so that they can have meeting space,” Hackl said.
“It’s a really good synergy with the community in terms of us trying to belong as good neighbours.”
Hackl added the fire department will continue offering car seat clinics, and is looking at adding wellness programs, that would take place in the community rooms.
An open house will be held at Fire Station No. 3 during fire prevention week in the fall.