News from the Pass – Hillcrest fire hall closed

Last week, in a unanimous vote, council approved the master fire plan that included closing the Hillcrest hall.

By Joni MacFarlane

Editor, Crowsnest Pass Promoter

 

Hillcrest was deemed to have the lowest number of calls and an aging building that needed significant repair work.

The plan also includes amalgamation of resources, training of firefighters and consolidation of the Crowsnest Pass Rescue department into the Blairmore station. Hillcrest station will be consolidated with Bellevue.

Councillor Jerry Lonsbury quoted portions of a master fire plan that was done 12 years ago that called for similar action.

“The point of all this is that suggestions that have been made in this fire plan are not terribly different than what was recommended by people involved in 2001 and it’s now 12 years later,” he said. “So how come it’s taken so long? Perhaps the council of the day had greater priorities for the limited financial resources available. Perhaps there were changes in provincial priorities that affected grants. Perhaps there was some truth in the rumours that the volunteers threatened to withdraw services if the plan was implemented. This is not an effort to attach blame. I merely want to point out that the very changes that are now being recommended in the 2013 edition of the master plan are almost the same as those made in 2001.”

Council will now have to decide what to do with the Hillcrest structure.