Station plan digs into dirt for year-end finish

·3 min read

Shuniah, Ont. — The shovels are in the ground.

The Municipality of Shuniah in partnership with Superior North Emergency Medical Services and the City of Thunder Bay broke ground Friday on a new EMS station at 1801 Lakeshore Drive.

The station is being erected less than a kilometre east of the current facility and the need for the new station centred around the drawbacks of the present-day building.

“Right now, our paramedics are living in a trailer and that’s not really suitable for work and living conditions,” Landry said. “The trailer they’re servicing out of right now is behind our fire station and the ambulance parks in front of our command station, so it makes for a little bit of juggling if everybody’s got to go out.

“I think that it’s just a really good investment and a partnership with the City of Thunder Bay that the municipality owns this building and it’s right here in Shuniah.”

Talks with the municipality began when Superior North EMS rolled out their strategic plan in 2020 with conversations focused on funding, what the building would look like, how it would service the municipality and location.

Superior North EMS Chief Shane Muir said this is a substantial move not just to service Shuniah, but also the City of Thunder Bay and the North Shore.

“This is really big for us operationally,” said Muir, who took over as chief late last year. “For one, we’re really centred in the municipality here, so we’ll have quick access to the whole region.

“Shuniah also acts as a backup base for the City of Thunder Bay. When they’re down staffed or have Code Black situations where there’s not ambulance response available, Shuniah has quick access to the city. It also acts as a backup for the Armstrong station and for the whole North Shore. It’s a really vital base for us and it’s centrally located for our service, so it operates for the whole region.”

Muir said the trickle down effects of the $1.5-million project are immeasurable when it comes to recruitment from around the province.

“It’s really exciting for us to see it come to fruition because it’s going to be a big aspect for us being able to attract talent as in those specified paramedic skills that we really need, so that we can reach out to the rest of the province and attract those paramedics to the municipality here and show them that we’re doing things like innovative base building, providing them with the newest equipment and just really supporting them and their ventures as paramedics,” said Muir.

Shuniah is the second municipality surrounding Thunder Bay to own their own EMS building in recent years as the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge did likewise with their facility in Kakabeka Falls in 2020.

Shuniah is targeting the end of this year for the completion of their new EMS facility.

John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal