Fire Master Plan recommends moving Station 2 to Sidney Street

Published May 19, 20243 minute read

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A newly released Belleville Fire Master Plan (FMP) has made 25 recommendations to bolster the city’s Fire and Emergency Services department “to improve service delivery and public safety.”

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One of those recommendations suggests replacing the existing Station 2 fire hall on West Moira Street with a newly built second urban fire hall on Sidney Street near Belleville Police headquarters.

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The plan also suggests that rural “Station 4 be evaluated for operational viability including the need to replace this dysfunctional station.”

The 197-page document is a road map of sorts to guide the future of the city’s Fire and Emergency Services offering reviews and ways forward on everything from facilities and equipment to staffing and procedures.

The recommendations by Kitchener-based consulting firm Behr Integrated Solutions Inc. are not binding and serve as a suggestive blueprint the city can follow in years ahead.

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Behr examined the efficiency and response times of both Station 1 – built in 2015 – and Station 2 built in 1949 on Moira Street West, and determined that in order to tighten response times for future growth in the west end and to the north, a new Station 2 may be in order.

“Community growth in the western fringes is expected to continue, with some suburban and urban developments emerging to the north as well. Continued pressure to increase higher density housing is likely to increase the occurrence of fire-related incidents in multi-family, mid- and high-rise buildings,” the consultants wrote.

The FMP stated the city must evaluate “all station locations, including a comprehensive study for future fire stations in direct correlation to related community growth, response capabilities, road network attributes and travel restrictions, building and population densities.”

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BFES has five fire stations, two in the urban area, and three rural.

Behr found that Station 1 responded to 3,547 incidents between 2018 and 2022 while Station 2 built in 1949 responded to 5,528 incidents during the same period.

The plan authors identified two options for a new Station 2 on Sidney Street, either near College Street intersection or more north closer to Bell Boulevard.

However, authors put forth Recommendation #23 suggesting the Sidney and College Street area was the best new location to deliver 10-minute response times to homes toward the western urban boundary of the city.

“This location should support a 10-minute response to all future areas developed in the western neighborhoods of the city.”

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That said, consultants said: “Alternative sites in these general areas would also be reasonable to consider.”

The plan suggested completion of a new Station 2 would be around 48-60 months if council pursued the recommendation down the road.

The city, meanwhile, is seeking public input on the new Fire Master Plan.

“The goal of the plan is to establish a long-term strategy for fire and emergency services based on community risk, safety, corporate priorities and council-approved budget allocations. Highlights of the proposed document include the following recommendations: Reviewing fire dispatch, -creating additional supervisory roles, reviewing and updating the regulating by-law, assessing station locations and integrating urban and rural fire services.”

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“The plan also outlines a proposed boundary expansion for the Urban fire service which would result in changes to tax impacts across the city’s tax tables. To manage the shift in tax impacts for ratepayers, a phased in approach to taxation is being recommended,” the city said in a public advisory.

Residents are encouraged to review the Fire Master Plan at www.belleville.ca and provide their comments by emailing [email protected] or by attending any of the following public information sessions:

  • June 6, 2024 from 6 to 8 pm at Fire Station 1 (60 Bettes St.)
  • June 11, 2024 from 6 to 8 pm at Fire Station 4 (516 Harmony Rd.)
  • June 13, 2024 from 6 to 8 pm at Fire Station 3 (4867 Old Hwy. 2)

For more information on the project and property tax implications please visit: Belleville.ca/FireMasterPlan.

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