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Students build lockers for Sydney fire station

A group of 21 individuals stands close together and smiles for a photo in a firehouse. While most appear to be students, the two on the far right are not. Both are dressed in business attire. One is dressed in a uniform.
The helmet of A. Trimm sits safely in one of the new lockers built by Marconi Campus Metal Fabrication students.

At the new, $2.6-million fire station on the corner of Victoria Road and Inverness Street in Sydney, the front hallway is lined with 24 sleek holding lockers containing the coats, boots, helmets and gear of the firefighters who serve the area.

“Part of the proper care of firefighting gear is how it’s stored when it’s not in use–keeping it up off the floor so it can breathe,” says Gilbert MacIntyre, Deputy Chief, Cape Breton Regional Municipality Fire Services (Station 2). “Gear must be properly maintained or it will carry toxins that will reduce its effectiveness and life span.”

Clayton Bartlett, Manager of Special Projects for DORA Construction–the job contactor–says because of the precise requirements and dimensions of the lockers needed for the space, he knew he’d be unable to get something ready-made. “They needed to be an open construction with mesh wire to allow for moisture and fumes to escape.”

DORA Construction looked to NSCC to complete the specialized job.

As a past NSCC Board of Governors Chair and current NSCC Foundation Board Member, Bartlett says he was well aware of the fabrication abilities of NSCC students. “DORA has a long history in the construction industry–working with apprentices and supporting the apprenticeship program.” He adds, “The workmanship on this job was excellent. It was completed on time and on budget and is a testament to what NSCC graduates can do.”

The work was neat; the fit was perfect. It was some of the best fabrication and welding I’ve seen.

Clayton Bartlett
Manager of special projects for DORA Construction

Giving back

Gary Cameron, Metal Fabrication instructor at NSCC Marconi Campus, says that the build was a great hands-on experience that gave the students a chance to give back to their community.

“The students were given a month to complete the project,” says Cameron. “They worked together to problem-solve any challenges they ran into, and remained focused and eager to provide a quality product to our firefighters.”

With materials supplied by DORA Construction, and engineered, technical drawings from CBCL Limited, the students developed new skills and expertise in blueprint interpretation and layout, jig fabrication, nesting, cutting, welding and finishing.

Cameron says the project highlighted the important role industry partners have in the College by facilitating the development of talented tradespersons, “It was a great collaboration in support of some of our local heroes.”

Fast Fact

Station 2 replaced two older fire stations. It houses 16 fire fighters and 4 platoon chiefs and will respond to the needs of residential and commercial properties.