The West Hawk Fire Department has more room to move around now that construction on a new addition to the community fire hall is nearly complete.
Over the winter construction crews have been working on a 2,800 square foot addition at the West Hawk Firehall.
The $250,000 two-story addition includes an extra deep bay so the department can house rescue equipment such as all terrain vehicles, a chase truck complete with Jaws of Life and water rescue equipment.
On the second floor, the fire fighters will have a larger training area, which also doubles as an evacuation centre if needed. An additional tower will provide a place to dry fire hoses and give fire fighters a spot to train high angle rescues, explained West Hawk Fire Chief Bruce Morrison.
“We are really excited about this project,” Morrison says. “We are quite proud of our department.”
What makes this project significant is that it is funded mostly through private donations. Unlike most fire departments who receive tax dollar funding, the West Hawk Fire Department maintains charity status. Located within the Whiteshell Provincial Park, funding for the department is raised through private donations and more recently, service fees collected by Parks Canada which limits the departments operating budget.
“We’ve operated this way since the beginning; we would sooner spend our money on equipment to ensure service,” Morrison continued. He added that his crew does not receive any stipend when responding to an emergency.
Morrison says he is grateful for the hard work and dedication of his crew.
“We are lucky – there are 350 year round residents and we have twenty-three dedicated volunteers; they don’t do it for the money, they do it for the public safety of everyone that lives here or visits,” continued Morrison. “We owe big kudos to our volunteer members – the board members and the fire fighters; they are a very dedicated bunch.”
The West Hawk Fire Department services an area which runs from the Ontario border to the RM of Reynolds boundary along Highway #1 and part of the Whiteshell Provincial Park including Falcon Lake, Star Lake, Caddy Lake and West Hawk Lake.
The West Hawk Fire Station also has a satellite location in Falcon Lake.
Anyone interested in helping the West Hawk Fire Department can submit a donation to Box 88, West Hawk ROE 2H0; tax receipts are available.
After months of construction over the winter the new addition at the West Hawk Fire Hall is almost complete .