A new fire hall in Ste.Agathe

September 17, 2018

Ste. Agathe fire hall now open

It's a long-term project that is becoming a reality, with the Ste. Agathe fire hall opened on September 20, 2018. The Rural Municipality of Ritchot green-lighted the proposal in March 2016.

Ste. Agathe's first fire hall is strategically located at 368 Service Road, at the intersection of Highway 75 and Provincial Road 305. It was built in the context of a residential and commercial construction boom in the village and across the RM of Ritchot.

Mitch Duval, Ritchot's chief administrative officer, is delighted to see such a project come to fruition: "The community's population continues to grow. More and more homes are going up. The Riel Industrial Park on Highway 75 is developing by leaps and bounds. We need to be able to provide emergency services to the local population. The nearest emergency centre is in St. Adolphe, which is at least 15 minutes away from Ste. Agathe. The response time should now be reduced."

The 60' x 90' building will house 15 volunteer firefighters. It features three bays for emergency vehicles, administrative offices, a 30-person classroom, a second-floor mezzanine area for training exercises, and a kitchen. 

The Municipality of Ritchot received borrowing authority from its council for the $2.25 million needed for the project. This includes $1.5 million for construction of the fire hall, $500,000 for the first truck, $250,000 for the purchase of equipment and materials for the hall and truck as well as $250,000 for firefighter training.

Given the fire hall's location, Mitch Duval is optimistic that some of Ste. Agathe's Riel Industrial Park employees will become volunteer firefighters. "Most of our recruits live in the community. People working in the industrial park might also be interested. One of the requirements is availability, and proximity to the fire hall location."

Lesley Gaudry, a Community and Economic Development officer, explains the process: "The volunteer firefighters undergo training. They also carry a pager with them and are notified if something happens. If they are available, they proceed to the fire hall as quickly as possible."

A total of 45 volunteer firefighters across the Municipality of Ritchot respond to emergency calls, equally distributed among the communities of Ste. Adolphe, Île des Chênes, and now Ste. Agathe.