Kitchen renovations are almost complete at Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s hall 1.
When asked to comment, Fire Information Officer Adam Harding stated the renovations have been “kind of a longtime coming, the hall was built in the 90s so it’s over 25 years old now and we’ve always kind of recognized that it’s a fairly small kitchen.”
Harding noted the fire department’s membership has been consistently growing over the years, “and we basically grew out of the space we had — the appliances in the hall were also starting to get old, so we knew we needed to make an upgrade there as well and it was the time to do it.”
The Port Hardy Hospital Auxiliary Society were the ones who funded the entire project, which ended up being approximately $30,000, and because the fire hall is a district building, the project went to council for approval so the renovations could actually happen.
“After council approved the renovations, it was sent out for tender and the successful bidder was European Fine Finishing,” confirmed Harding, who added $25,000 was earmarked for renovation of the kitchen and the remaining $5,000 was earmarked for upgrading appliances.
As for how the renovations are currently going despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing issues all over town, Harding stated they are actually making “really good progress — I was in there recently and the old kitchen has been pretty much gutted and the new framing has been put up. They’ve mostly finished the drywalling and mudding, they’ve got the flooring ripped out, they’ve got the electrical completed, and are working on the cabinetry now and the new counters are coming up by early next week. We’re looking at being only a week out from seeing a completely new kitchen put together.”
While the renovations will make the building look nicer, Harding pointed out the most important part of this renovation is that it will mean safer protocol for contaminated firefighter turnout gear, which will ultimately help minimize the risk of firefighter’s potentially catching life threatening illnesses.
“Previously, our laundry room was beside the old kitchen, so you had walk with your dirty turnout gear from the bay through the meeting room and into the laundry room to wash it,” Harding stated, adding, “What we’ve done with this renovation is actually move the location of the laundry room so that you can access it directly from the bay, which means you won’t have to bring your dirty turnout gear from the dirty area of the hall through the clean area of the hall — we’re neutralizing that cross contamination.”
Above all else, Harding said he wanted to say a big thank you “to the hospital auxiliary for the funding, the district for their support of the project, our firefighters for their flexibility during this time as we’ve kind of lost a significant portion of our hall for a little bit, and also thanks to European Fine Finishing for working on the project pretty quickly, which is nice to see.”