Just a few weeks after celebrating their tenth anniversary, members of the Sowchea Fire Hall are facing some unexpected news.
The Hall, a satellite location of the Fort St, James Fire Department is at risk of closing its doors for good.
Recent news from the Fire Hall’s insurer advises that insurance may be suspended or even refused based on the fire protection area not being able to maintain a roster of 10 members.
John Bennison has been with the Dept. for 13 years. He along with other members of the Fire Hall and residents of the Sowchea area came to voice their concerns at a council meeting held on Jan. 13.
This was surprising news to the volunteer fire fighters as well as community members according to Bennison.
“We feel completely blindsided,” John Bennison said. “There has been no communication.”
In 2005, residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of establishing the new fire hall which was built in 2006. It is currently under contract with the District of Fort St. James.
Bennison has seen many positive changes since the second fire hall came to be.
“We are proud of the construction of the second fire hall and being able to serve the Sowchea community has meant a lot to us and to its residents.”
Mayor MacDougall along with council will set a meeting with various members of the community and the Fire Dept. to discuss the future of the Dept. and possible solutions.
“We have a huge investment there,” MacDougall said. “It’s important to us too.”