By Jamie Mountain
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
LORRAIN TOWNSHIP – The Lorrain Valley Volunteer Fire Department has been able to complete some much-needed upgrades to its fire hall over the past year.
They were necessary because the department was moving from being just a pump team to having the services of a mini-pumper truck that is expected to arrive later this month.
“The fire hall was just a framed building with no heat, hydro or insulation,” explained fire chief Ken White in an email interview.
“Our main overhead doors and man door were also not insulated.”
White said that the department had to divide the building into two parts by installing a wall down the centre of it so that they could have a heated half and a cold storage half.
“Then we had to have hydro installed, wire the building, insulate, put up 5/8-inch fireproof drywall, and then tape and fill,” he noted.
“A new insulated overhead door, and two man doors were mounted. Last was to have a propane furnace installed.”
White added that the upgrade work to the fire hall was completed by volunteers from Lorrain Valley and also was supported by donations of money and materials from residents and cottagers, as well as local companies.
The department is currently accepting empty bottles as a fundraiser for the future needs of the department.
"Our slogan is 'We're running on empties'," said White with a smile on a visit to the hall.
White said the fire hall upgrades will “give the residents and cottagers far superior fire protection.
“We will be able fight the fire as soon as we arrive on the scene,” he said.
“Fire, on the whole, doubles in size every minute, we may still have to set up portable pumps to continue fighting the fire. We now can have our meetings and training at the hall.”
The upgrade work was completed over the course of 2020.
The Lorrain Valley department was established in 1985 as a portable pump team, before then building the fire hall in 1987.
The department is a member of the Northern Fire Protection Program and White noted they are made up entirely of volunteers.
“There are 17 people in our department now, three of (whom) are females,” he said.
“We have a few young people but mostly (we just have) older members. I think it is because most of the jobs for young people are in the south.”
Looking ahead, White said that the department is looking forward to receiving its new mini-pumper truck this spring and then commencing training.
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker