Emergency response coverage for UniverCity is inadequate and poses a risk for our community, as was flagged in a 2019 Burnaby Fire Department needs assessment.
The UniverCity Community Association held a Town Hall event in 2019 with representatives from the City of Burnaby including Mayor Mike Hurley as guests, and emergency response times as one of the featured topics. So we were glad when the City of Burnaby announced in October 2021 that planning would start for a new fire station on Burnaby Mountain, with construction to begin in Spring 2024. At that council meeting, Councillor Sav Dhaliwal asked whether the timeline could be moved up, and commented on the urgency of the project. In December, a city of Burnaby news release put an anticipated timeline for the fire hall's construction to start "before 2024",
The UniverCity Community Association reached out to the City of Burnaby this week to ask how plans for fire station #8 are progressing.
Chris Bryan, Manager of Public Affairs, commented that the project remains a top priority and that staff are working hard in collaboration with SFU to advance the project as quickly as possible.
Bryan elaborated that "City staff are working on a ‘fast track’ design-build strategy using an Integrated Project Delivery model. Our intention is to build this new fire hall in an accelerated fashion, as we share the community’s urgency in getting it open and operational as soon as possible. This approach could allow construction to start this year."
The city plans to provide a more detailed project update soon.
The city is planning, designing, and constructing the new fire station in coordination with Simon Fraser University, which is providing the required land at no cost. In July 2021, the federal government committed $30 million towards the project through Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan). Once open, the fire station will be operated with 20 firefighters.
Future location of Fire Station #8, west of the intersection of Tower Rd. and University Dr. East