Time is everything for Fire Station 21

Rossdale Fire Station 21 had been closed for more than two decades before it reopened in April.

Since then, it’s taken virtually no time to prove its worth.

Let’s go back to Wednesday, May 22, 2019. It’s 7:42 pm. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) has just received a call a person is on the North Saskatchewan River and in need of emergency help. Station 21 immediately dispatches its rescue and jet boat units. In six minutes firefighters are on the water and three minutes later the person is pulled into the boat and to safety. It’s now 7:54 pm. Twelve minutes have elapsed since the original call.

The timeline is crucial.

Before Station 21’s reactivation, EFRS members would have needed those 12 minutes just to travel to the Rossdale community from a neighbouring station, and even more time to get the watercraft out of storage and on the river.

“Our priority is to keep citizens, property, and the environment safe,” said Fire Chief Ken Block. “Rossdale Station will ease the pressure on other stations and will enhance our ability to serve and protect the residents of Edmonton on and surrounding the North Saskatchewan.”

“As we can see from what happened on May 22, the station is already doing its work.”

Fire Station 21: Platoon 1
Fire Station 21: Platoon 1

Station 21, located at 9315 101 Street NW, has a long history of doing its good work.

Built in 1949, Station 21 provided fire rescue operations to the downtown core and served as a training academy and equipment service centre. In 1997, the station was deactivated due to budget constraints. The building was then used to store watercraft and other equipment needed during river rescues. Because river rescues didn’t stop happening. They just took longer.

In 2014, City Council approved the reopening of Station 21.

Jet Boat Unit Launch
EFRS Jet Boat Unit Launch

On April 27, 2019, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services invited the public to tour the refurbished facility, take a peek inside the river rescue boats, and meet some of the crews working at Station 21 as part of the grand re-opening ceremony. Since then, EFRS made quick work of setting a new response time standard with May 22’s rescue.  

Welcome back, Station 21.