Adult conversation about the new Collingwood Fire Hall (Taj Mahal)

Collingwood FH
Collingwood’s tribute to “Hurricane” Sandy Cunningham.

Taj Mahal
Emperor Shah Jahans tribute to his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

I was leaving this one alone. The last thing I need is a posse of firefighters descending on my residence with torches and pitchforks. But those of you that know me will know that this is “Grist for the Mill” for this space.

My post had a lot of people telling me in person and email what a great letter this was. The past few months there has been much talking behind hands and whispering about the largesse of the new (as I like to call it) “Taj Mahal” Firehall.
Let me state for the record I am not attacking the fire fighters of this town. If I was one of them and was given this over the top facility to spend my working days working out in the gym, preparing meals in the “Gordon Ramsey” like commercial kitchen and relaxing in the leather “Lazy Boys” watching daytime TV. I would be first in line. So there’s probably more than a little jealousy in mine and others oppinion on this.
My beef is with the decision makers who thought for a second that any of this was appropriate. But this probably lands at the lap of “Hurricane Sandy”. It is well known in town that he only signed up for council detail to get this edifice to his past service bulldozed through all the approvals and town council.
But beyond any of the above it is time for some adult conversations about what we need from a local fire department? Since 9/11 North Americas collective guilt caused by the men and woman of the New York fire department that made the ultimate sacrifice that fateful day has made it so that anything and everything should be afforded this sector of the work force. Let me put some context to this. A friend of mine just sent me a text saying that because of budget cut backs at the General and Marine Hospital they now have to close the canteen on weekends. So are we saying nurses, doctors and support staff are less deserving of our consideration than those who fight the relatively few fires that we have locally.

Which brings me to the other part of this “conversation”; The actual need in this town for so many full time fire fighters. As was stated in the letter – 300 calls last year, I haven’t checked this stat but I can only assume in such a well written letter that this is actually the case. In these days of mandatory smoke detectors, fire suppression systems and fire rated commercial buildings are we not designing our firefighting needs around a bygone era. We also have very little industrial space in town these days which would require more of a fire fighting force on standby. I will remind you the last time we had a fire in Collingwood that warranted the kind of response that would justify anything like this monument to Sandy. It was in 2001 when the Free Masons temple on Hurontario burnt to the ground. I can think of a few house fires along the way but can’t think of anything else of that scale. If I am wrong on this correct me please.

I would be interested to hear from local firefighters on this over the top facility. Myself and many others would like to hear the justification for it all. I am open to having my mind changed.

Note: Ian Adams just emailed me and said he did not receive the previous letter and would not publish it anonymously anyway.


2 thoughts on “Adult conversation about the new Collingwood Fire Hall (Taj Mahal)

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