MIDALE - The Midale/Cymri Fire Rescue & First Responders recently received a big boost as they continue to fundraise for their new building.
Cardinal Energy presented the department with a cheque for $100,000.
Laverne Hockey, who is the chief for the department, said they approached Cardinal Energy about the donation, and the company stepped up big. The donation exceeded their expectations.
Fundraising for the project is progressing well. They have raised a little more than $1.2 million this year, but the estimated cost of the facility is expected to be roughly $2 million.
“We’re hoping to get some more [donations] coming in once the building starts to get put up,” said Hockey. “We’re doing some work right there now. They’re starting to put the footings in and the pilings.”
The new building is on the southwest corner of the town, close to Highway 39.
Hockey said the best-case scenario would be to have the building finished by the end of September, but they definitely hope it can be complete before December is finished.
The building has cost more than expected, but Hockey believes that is because the cost of building materials has gone up.
It will also house the medical first responders for the community.
The fire department and first responders have held some fundraisers, and a lot of support has come in through donations. Hockey believes the support they have received is proof that the community sees the need for the facility.
“It’s definitely a long time coming. We’ve outgrown the other one by quite a bit. We have equipment scattered in the RM shops and around town. It will be nice to be able to put it under one roof and just go from there.”
The town and the RM have provided a lot of money, too, which made a big difference. Discussions are underway on how to account for the remaining $800,000 for the project.
The new fire hall will have a training area and an EMO centre which will serve as a gathering point in case there are power outages in the town, or if they have to transport people into the community.
“We have a stand-by generator in it that will house everybody and keep everybody warm for a few days,” said Hockey. “Sometimes that happens in the winter time.”
It will have a faster loading area, and Hockey noted they are installing a water tank so they can fill up the trucks quicker. The tank will then replenish itself with town water.
Hockey noted they have been fundraising for a new building for a while, but he believes they need to have something in place before they can finish with the fundraising efforts.
He joined the fire department in 1980 and the building had been the fire hall for at least a few years.
Midale currently has 14 firefighters and first responders. They’re a dedicated group who will show up whenever they’re called, Hockey said, and he believes it’s best to have a good core that is dependable rather than a larger number not as committed.
A fundraising barbecue and appreciation event for the firefighters and first responders was held on June 16.
Cardinal Energy is a Canadian oil and natural gas company with operations in Midale and other regions.
The Midale operating area is located near Weyburn. It began producing in 1953 and is forecast to continue to produce for an additional 50-plus years.
Cardinal operates one of Canada’s largest carbon dioxide sequestering facilities in Midale. In 2021, the company sequestered 240,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, more than offsetting all of Cardinal’s company-wide direct emissions.
On its website, the company said it is expanding this project in 2022 and expect to sequester approximately 300,000 tonnes of CO2.