As the local fire department transitions to a 24-hour service, crews now have a place to rest their heads at night.
The Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department recently had a modular unit delivered and installed at the station, which features five separate sleeping areas for staff to use during their 14-hour night shifts.
Each sheep-themed room includes a single bed, a wardrobe area and a night table, as well as an individual heating unit.
"It's very simple, but that's exactly its purpose — it's just for the fire crews to rest and then jump out at a moments notice to get to the fire truck and head out," said Fort Saskatchewan Fire Chief Shawn McKerry, noting there will be some combination of five full-time staff and paid on-call firefighters in the station at all times.
The shift to a 24-hour operational model will ultimately result in improved response times for both fires and medical emergencies, especially given the new sleeping quarters, McKerry said.
"Now, our staff essentially just walk to the truck, get dressed and they're out the door in 90 seconds as compared to almost 10 minutes in some (previous) cases. That can equate to a life-saving service and to minimizing the damage of fires," he explained.
All told, the project will cost approximately $125,000, with the modular unit carrying a price tag of $100,000.
The remaining $25,000 is currently being used to construct an enclosed walkway, which will connect the station to the modular unit behind it.
Funding for the building included $75,000 that was previously allocated for another capital project approved by council in 2017.
Construction is expected to be completed by late January or early February.