Southwest Hants Fire Society celebrates new station

Published on July 1, 2007
TEAM WORK – South West Hants Fire Society members Don and Marnie Metke stand by the large plaque engraved with names of residents and businesses that made donations to help the drive to build the Fire sub-station become a reality. Fred Lawrence

Fred Lawrence

The Hants Journal/

More than 200 people attended the grand opening of Windsor Fire Station #2 at Vaughan, Hants County, June 16. This, after a decade of preparations.

The success of the event was a reflection of the amazing amount of public and corporate support received by the South West Hants Fire Society during their quest to erect the new fire sub-station at Vaughan.

The project started more than a decade ago and came to fruition more just over one year ago. Currently the station is equipped with one pumper truck and one rescue vehicle, with a large indoor training area facility to hold special events.

Society chairman Don Metke and his wife and Society member Marnie are proud to call the area home after moving here years ago from Alberta. “It’s a godsend to have such a structure here because if a real emergency occurred before this was open, people could have died or lost their homes to fire because we are so far from the nearest fire station in Windsor,” Metke said. One example Metke gave was a recent fire where the response time from the time the call came in until a truck was on scene was under 10 minutes. “That’s incredible, just knowing the station is here gives the community a piece of mind that didn’t exist before.”

More residents in the area

There are many more homes in the region as the area continues to be a choice place for people to re-locate, some after retirement, some who have moved home, and others who want to enjoy the beauty the surrounding countryside offers. This increase in population was a major factor in the drive to build the structure.

After years of fundraisers ranging from bake sales and raffles to jam sessions and auctions, the Society raised more than $100,000. “One unique example of fundraising came from a well-known lady from this area named Jesse Hogan, who is in her late 80’s and made a beautiful quilt that was auctioned off – that’s the kind of spirit that built this hall,” Marnie Metke said. “No one person did this, it was a true community effort in every sense of the term, there were so many people who gave freely of their time and so many local businesses that donated materials to build the building and the grounds it was amazing.”

She noted that the local Vaughan United Church donated the land for the building through a 99-year lease. “Without that we would have nothing,” Marnie said.

Emergency center potential

The couple said the facility is looking to create an emergency center in the event that a catastrophe happens. “You don’t have to look too far to see that terrible things do happen and people need to have a temporary shelter to go to, this building would house a lot of people and provide relief until the emergency was dealt with,” Marnie said. “Right now we are completely operational if there is a power outage, we have a back-up generator and provide temporary shelter for a lot of people in the event of an emergency.”

Currently there are 11 firefighters in the area, but the Society is trying to recruit more volunteers to bolster the force.

The 11 recruits are ‘first responders’ in the event of an emergency and are also members of the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department.

Plans for hiking trails are already in the works and other uses for the property are being considered. “The overall usage of this facility is only limited by our imaginations,” Marnie said, a fitting statement for a community that has proven that by working together virtually anything can be accomplished.