Pickering Fire Services Chief John Hagg says the fast-growing city east of Toronto is getting a much-needed addition — a new $8.8-million headquarters for the municipality’s fire department.
“We get about 4,000 calls a year right now,” Hagg told the Toronto Sun on Monday.
“And this (new fire station) is in an area that’s growing. So there’s a demand up in here. This will help us get to those calls sooner. This will help us get north of here easier and quicker and service the Seaton community (in north Pickering).”
Hagg made the remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the 21,000-square-foot headquarters which will also operate as a fire station at 1700 Zents Dr. and Brock Rd. Construction started in May and the new station will be completed by the end of next year or early in 2023.
The fifth fire station for Pickering will have two floors with three tandem truck bays and four shifts of four firefighters.
Hagg said they’ve hired 10 firefighters in the past year as many are retiring from the job.
“For the community, it’s huge,” he continued. “This fifth fire station gives us the opportunity when we get one good size fire, four stations are busy, working at that fire. This one gives us an opportunity to keep one station back and available to respond to other calls so it’s a big step for us without calling in Toronto or Ajax.”
Pickering’s population is currently 94,000, but Deputy Mayor David Pickles added that planning has already begun on a sixth fire station nearby to contend with the area’s growth.