Changes are on the way for Madden Fire Station 105 after occupational health and safety concerns have come to light.

At the latest Rocky View County Council meeting, the RVC council voted to approve the use of the municipal reserve lands at the fire station site to bring in a new temporary building.

There are two reasons for the need for a temporary building, Ken Hubbard, the Fire Chief with Rocky View County Fire Services stated the overall goal is to make sure their firefighters can work in a safe environment.

"This came to our attention more formally in August of last year, were two major issues that needed to be addressed and one was clean water."

For years there have been challenges with clean water in the Madden area, according to Hubbard and it has affected the fire station to the point where it was not potable water and not consumable. This is a problem as firefighters need clean water for decontamination after fires. They need clean water to also protect themselves, whether that's washing their gear or having the ability to take showers if needed.

"That takes away some of the big risks we have with a lot of the chemicals that are in the part of combustion and our incidents that can be the lead cause of cancers in our first service members."

According to Hubbard, there is nothing that he knows about when it comes to possible firefighters getting sick because of the conditions of the fire station.

The second reason for changes is due to diesel particulates that happen from their apparatuses. With the fire station basically being one big open area, they are supposed to have separate areas where the diesel particulates are unable to reach.

"There should be barriers between where apparatuses are stored and where administrative personnel actually spend most of their day doing other duties."

Unfortunately with this fire station being an older one, there isn't the opportunity to build separate rooms to meet those needs.

At the latest meeting council approved a budget adjustment of $110,500 to bring in a new building where all these needs can be met.

"This structure would have washroom facilities and shower facilities with clean water. It would also have an area where they can do some of that office administration capabilities and have smaller meetings."

Of course, this is only a temporary fix, the long-term plan is to build a new fire station with all the correct requirements.

"This initiative to have a temporary structure put in place to look after these safety concerns. We're looking at concurrently moving forward with the planning phase and budget allocation coming back to Council for approval."

The hope it to start the process of building a new station by 2025. The council will tour newer RVC fire stations to see what will work best for Madden.

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