Eastbridge fire station opens in Waterloo

On Sept. 29, the long-awaited groundbreaking for the new Eastbridge fire station took place at the intersection of University Avenue and Woolwich Street.

“It’s a really special moment for this community and a moment we’ve been waiting for quite a long time,” Brenda Halloran, the mayor of Waterloo, said during a speech.

The building of the new fire station, the fourth in Waterloo, was delayed because the initial cost estimate of $4.3 million was $1 million over budget. City councilours recently approved construction after the cost of the station was reduced to $3.8 million. This reduced estimate was achieved through cost-saving modifications such as scaling the size of the station back from a two-crew station to a one-crew station.

The additional costs were important in the funding of the station’s ‘green’ features; including efficient toilets, recycled building materials, energy-saving shower heads, and an underground cistern providing water supply by collecting storm runoff from the roof. This allowed the station to be the first in Waterloo to reach a silver certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standard.

“Society today expects us to be as environmentally conscious as possible, and building a LEED station for the city is setting a good example, and helps to set a standard for anybody else that goes to the community,” said Waterloo fire chief John deHooge, explaining the positive aspects of the LEED design.

The Eastbridge station will improve emergency response times, reducing the current time of 7-11 minutes to the target of 5 minutes.

The station also plans to be a part of the community, and promises to always be open to the residents.

deHooge said, “We really feel that we are much more than just a service provider, we are part of the community, and plan to be for a long time.”