New fire hall opens for first responders in Carmacks, Yukon

The Village of Carmacks’ brand new fire hall. (Village of Carmacks)

‘I call it the prettiest building in the Yukon as far as fire halls go,’ said Mayor Lee Bodie

First responders in Carmacks, Yukon, have a new place to work from. The town has officially opened the doors of its new fire hall.

And according to Mayor Lee Bodie, it’s more than just a fire hall.

“We have the fire hall, the search and rescue, and the paramedics all under one roof,” he said.

Bodie told CBC News that the facility is a significant upgrade from the community’s old fire hall which he said has been around since the 1950s.

“The old fire hall would barely fit the new fire engine,” he said.

“I think when they closed the door there was like, six inches left. But that’s not why we did it. We did it because the old fire hall had some structural issues that in time would cause a lot of problems.”

Bodie said the water tank that fed water into the previous hall was located on the roof. He said it needed more structural support before it fell through. Bodie also said storage space was a major issue in the old building.

“The search and rescue team never had a place to put their stuff,” he said. “The ambulance crew’s equipment room had to be shuffled around depending on who was in there.”

Space for several services 

The new fire hall has more than enough room for the fire department, paramedics, and search and rescue.

It’s equipped with showers, change rooms, and an area to do laundry. It has a large meeting room, office space, and a four-bay garage for the emergency response vehicles.

Bodie said there are an additional five offices on the second floor that are currently being rented out to help offset the cost of construction.

The total cost of the project totals $8.5 million, with $6.4 million coming from the federal government’s Small Communities Fund, and $2.1 million from the territorial government.

Bodie said he hopes this new building encourages people to volunteer as a first responder in the community.

“I call it the prettiest building in the Yukon as far as fire halls go,” Bodie told CBC News.

“I would want to be a firefighter. I’m too old to be a firefighter but if I were younger I’d sign up just to be in that building. It’s something the whole community can be proud of.”

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Firefighters shouldn’t have to fill gaps in ambulance service: Dawson City fire chief, CBC News

Finland: Police response times up to an hour slower in Arctic Finland, Yle News

Sweden: Criminal gang activity moving into northern Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. Justice Dept. awards $42 million in tribal grants to fight crime, help victims in rural Alaska, Alaska Public Media

Norway: Police in Arctic Norway say helicopter now needed for border surveillance, The Independent Barents Observer

Chris MacIntyre, CBC News

Chris MacIntyre is a CBC reporter in Dawson City, Yukon.

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