Fire training centre may be on the move



Petrolia/North Enniskillen Fire Chief Lawrence Swift is looking for a new location for the training and historic centre.

The department unveiled plans for the centre last year saying it would take about $170,000 build a centre behind the hall on Centre Street for training firefighters and to display much of the town’s historic fire items.

More than 70 per cent of the money for the project was raised quickly and the department was ready to begin construction when the found an abandoned oil well in the ground.

After months of looking for solutions, Swift says the department is looking for another spot for the centre.

“There are other properties about some are owned by the town or the township some not,” says Swift. “We have at least one property and possibly two that there would be a donation made to the department.”

If they move the building site, Swift says there could be added expenses. “To begin on a new piece of land with no infrastructure…no question about it there would be additional costs; those are certainly the cons of starting with a new property,” he says. “Adding on to something existing that may have driveway and classrooms certainly has its benefits from a cost point of view.”

And Swift added the department could find more abandoned oil wells on any piece of property chosen.

Swift says the fire management board, which is made up of firefighters and politicians from Petrolia and Enniskillen, will meet in the next months to figure out what happens next.

“The community has been very generous but we have limited money,” he says. “We have to make sure we spend it appropriately. There are a number of different ways forward so it is a difficult thing. We have the ideas but we do need some direction.