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Ground broken on new Strathroy-Caradoc central fire station

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Shovels have finally broken ground for a new central fire station in Strathroy-Caradoc, replacing the existing 50-year-old facility.

Mayor Colin Grantham was joined by members of the fire department for the occasion Thursday.

“There are certain things that are an investment in your community, and to me, it’s an investment,” he said.

The new facility will be built at the site of the existing station on Zimmerman Street North. A new station was first recommended as far back as 1991.

Grantham said the new facility looks to future growth.

“It’s three bays, but, in the future - not in the near future - some day we’re going to need to go to some kind of a full-time fire department, whether it’s hybrid full-time, so there’s capacity for that. So we thought long term,” he explained.

Strathroy-Caradoc Mayor Colin Grantham was joined by members of the fire department to break ground on a new fire station on Feb. 29, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London )

Right now, Fire Station No. 1, or the Central Station, responds to about 300 calls per year. That number is continuously on the rise as the community grows in both the residential and industrial sectors, said Grantham.

“We have some large industry, we’re attracting new industry. You know we have two long-term care homes, we have a hospital, we need a good viable fire department,” he said.

District Fire Chief Dale Stacey said the new station will have state of the art equipment, helping firefighters decontaminate from toxic fires and other hazards they’re exposed to.

Firetrucks, seen on Feb. 29, 2024, parked inside Strathroy-Caradoc’s existing fire station, which was built in 1975. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)

“Things have changed and we [have to] do more decontamination of ourselves and everything else, with all the firefighter cancers and everything out there. So that’s one of the main reasons as well that we’re working on this station, to try and bring things up to the current standards,” explained Stacey.

He credits the late London Fire Captain Chris Bruinink, who died of job-related cancer last year, in helping Strathroy-Caradoc advance in health and safety for its firefighters.

“Captain Chris Bruinink there, from London Fire Department, he was a friend of all of ours, and so on, and he’s helped us with a lot of this too with moving forward,” said Stacey.

The cost of the new fire station is $9.1 million. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The late Chris Bruinink of the London Fire Department is seen in this updated image. (Submitted)

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