New $5M+ fire station, electric “Jaws of Life” in Bedford region

New $5M+ fire station, electric “Jaws of Life” in Bedford region
The firefighters of Bedford show off their new electric “Jaws of Life” equipment at their fire station (Photo : William Crooks)

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

On behalf of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest, Isabelle Charest, the Minister responsible for Sport, Recreation, and Outdoor Activities and MNA for Brome-Missisquoi, announced June 13 a grant of $5,207,420 to the Town of Bedford for the construction of a new fire station. Bedford firefighters have also recently received new, state-of-the-art electric “Jaws of Life” equipment.

This project will also serve the municipalities of Stanbridge Station, Saint-Ignace-de-Stanbridge, and Bedford Township. The new building will feature a first floor with a seven-door garage, workshop, decontamination room, combat gear maintenance area, locker rooms, administrative offices, and utility spaces, according to a June 13 press release.

The second floor will include a multipurpose room, dormitories, a training room, and a dining area with a kitchenette. Additional work includes landscaping and connecting the building to Bedford’s water and sewer systems.

In the release, Laforest emphasized the importance of the municipal infrastructure improvement program, PRACIM, which supports communities across Quebec by providing necessary infrastructure to enhance local vitality and appeal.

Saint-Ignace-de-Stanbridge Mayor Dominique Martel stressed the significance of inter-municipal collaboration in providing top-notch services to residents, praising the new station’s adherence to modern safety standards.

Stanbridge Station Mayor Gilles Rioux acknowledged the advantage of consolidating all equipment in one modern facility, made possible by the government grant, benefiting the volunteer firefighters with a compliant and up-to-date building.

The financial aid comes from the PRACIM, part of the Quebec Infrastructure Plan (PQI) 2024-2034, which includes more than $7.1 billion in investments in municipal infrastructure under the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAMH). PRACIM supports the improvement, addition, replacement, and maintenance of municipal buildings.

Municipalities with fewer than 25,000 residents receive an additional 5 per cent bonus when they collaborate on projects aimed at improving and sharing community services. The project receives an 8 per cent base rate increase for using wood as the primary construction material, in line with the Wood Integration Policy, which promotes wood use for its economic, social, and environmental benefits. Small municipalities also benefit from increased financial aid rates for such projects.

Press conference

At the press conference held in Bedford June 13, Charest took the stage to announce the $5.2 million investment for the construction of the new fire station.

“I am thrilled to announce this funding, which will enhance the safety infrastructure for Bedford and surrounding communities,” Charest stated.

“This investment, part of the PRACIM program, will provide top-notch facilities for our firefighters, ensuring they have the resources needed to protect our citizens.”

Charest expressed her pleasure in making this announcement in such a beautiful location and encouraged everyone to explore the local products available.

“I wish I could stay longer, but I am on the road all day,” she remarked, adding humorously that she might return if she finds something she likes.

Charest continued, emphasizing the importance of the investment, “This program has evolved over the years, incorporating feedback from previous iterations to better serve our communities.”

Following Charest, Claude Dubois, Mayor of Bedford, shared more details about the project.

“Our region has seen significant growth, and the new fire station is a crucial development,” Dubois remarked. He recounted the project’s history, noting that initial discussions began in 2019 with the idea of expanding the existing fire station. However, following the 2021 municipal elections, the decision was made to build a new station to better accommodate the growing population and the needs of the firefighters.

Subscribe to read full story

Share this article