Consolidating stations 9 and 15

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is committed to providing efficient emergency response to the residents of Winnipeg. Currently, the coverage areas overlap for for Station 9, located at 864 Marion St., and Station 15, located at 1083 Autumnwood Dr. As we work to modernize our facilities, we will be combining these two stations with a new super-station in Windsor Park, with construction anticipated to start in spring 2023.

Background

On June 26, 2020, City Council approved the WFPS’s 2020 Strategic Direction (Strategic Direction), an overarching strategic plan to help ensure current and future demands for fire and paramedic service are met. The Strategic Direction noted that many of the stations needed total replacement or significant renovations, as they were no longer able to meet the needs of a modern emergency service.

Further, the Strategic Direction noted that some of the stations were not ideally located to provide timely response in emergencies. In other cases, the area that a station is responsible to cover in the event of an emergency overlapped with another. As such, recommendations suggested consolidating the number of stations from 30 to 23 would be more efficient, while still allowing the service to provide timely emergency response.

The Strategic Direction recommended that two stations which overlapped with each other – Station 9, located at 864 Marion St., and Station 15, located at 1083 Autumnwood Dr. – be combined into a new, modern station on the site of the current Station 15 and the former library next to it. The move to combine, or in other words consolidate, the stations will not impact emergency response times in the area.

The proposed new two-storey, 1,895 square metre station (20,400 square feet) will have five (5) bays, or areas to park emergency vehicles, adequate living accommodations for emergency personnel, indoor training space, and proper storage space for equipment.

Following zoning approvals and a Request for Proposal to construct the new station, it’s anticipated that demolition of the current Station 15 will begin in March 2023, with construction anticipated to begin in April 2023. Once the new station is complete, current Stations 9 and 15 will consolidate their operations within the new facility. During demolition and construction, area residents will continue to receive timely emergency response.

Frequently asked questions

Why are you combining Station 9 and Station 15?

The Strategic Direction noted that some WFPS stations are at their end-of-life and are not ideally located to provide the most efficient response in emergencies. Both Stations 9 and 15 were determined to be in poor condition, in need of extensive renovations in the coming years in order to be considered safe for staff.

As such, the consolidation of these two stations was chosen as the first step in the strategic direction. This would not only be more efficient, but would still allow the service to provide timely emergency response.

More than half of WFPS stations were constructed before unicity amalgamation in 1974. As such, many stations are not optimally located within City boundaries and have overlapping coverage areas. One of the recommendations in the Strategic Direction is to consolidate the number of stations from 30 to 23.

Why is one station better than two?

Currently the coverage areas overlap. WFPS can continue to provide timely service in the area through the operation of one station. This reduces construction, maintenance and operating costs associated with a second station.

The proposed new two-storey, 1,895 square metre station (20,400 square feet) will have five (5) bays, or areas to park emergency vehicles, adequate living accommodations for emergency personnel, indoor training space, and proper storage space for equipment.

How did the City select the proposed site of the combined station?

The new station will be located at the intersection of Cottonwood Road and Autumwood Drive. This is the current location of Station 15 and a vacant facility which was the former site of the Windsor Park Library. The site was determined to be well-situated for the new station. As it was already City-owned land, the City did not require extra funds to purchase land.

Why does the proposed site need to be rezoned?

When the current Station 15, built in 1970, and the former Windsor Park Library, built in 1961, were developed, it was not zoned for its current intended use. Therefore, the formality of rezoning the site for its actual use must now take place.

How will the WFPS ensure residents in St. Boniface continue to receive timely emergency response once the current Station 9 is decommissioned?

The current area surrounding Station 9 is in the coverage area for several nearby stations, including Station 2 (55 Watt St.), Station 3 (337 Des Meurons St.), Station 15 (1083 Autumnwood Dr.), and Station 21 (1446 Regent Ave. W.).

How will the WFPS ensure residents in Windsor Park will continue to receive timely emergency response during construction?

During construction of the new station, Windsor Park residents will be served by nearby stations including Station 2 (55 Watt St.), Station 3 (337 Des Meurons St.), Station 9 (864 Marion Street), Station 14 (1057 St. Mary’s Road), and Station 27 (27 Sage Creek Blvd.).

When is construction supposed to begin and how long will it take?

Demolition of the current Station 15 and the library site is anticipated to being in March 2023 with new construction getting underway in April 2023. WFPS expects the new station will be completed and operationally ready by summer 2024.

What will the new station look like, and what are some of its features?

The new station will be a two-storey structure with five bays designed to complement the neighbourhood. Materials from the existing station such as wood and granite will be incorporated in the design and the library will be repurposed within the new structure during the build. The station is anticipated to be the first City facility to use geothermal heating and cooling, and is designed to meet Green Globes certification guidelines. The station will also have a training room which will be used by WFPS and available for public use.

How much will the new station cost to build and how will it be funded?

The Council approved $13.5 million for this consolidation project in the 2022 to 2025 multi-year budget. This was a class 3 estimate and therefore actual costs could fluctuate between -20% and +30% from this amount.

In addition, COVID-19 has increased the cost of building materials dramatically. We expect to have a clearer picture of total cost once the work has been tendered. Any variation from the approved amount will require further Council approval. The project will be funded in part from external borrowing and partly from the Canada Community-Building Fund.

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