New ambulance station proposed for South Burnaby
South Burnaby could soon be getting its own ambulance station, if a rezoning proposal becomes a reality.
But Burnaby's gain could come at the expense of Vancouver, New Westminster and Delta, which would see stations there consolidated into a new facility proposed for four lots—6980 and 6992 Buller Ave. and 6977 and 6991 Waltham Ave.
The properties, located between the Wendy's restaurant on Kingsway and Hemlock Press to the south, are currently vacant and owned by Burnaby city hall, which purchased them in 2011 to prevent new houses and duplexes being built in the industrial area and to protect its future development potential, according to a city staff report.
Under its rezoning application, B.C. Emergency Health Services is proposing to purchase the properties to use as the site of a new BC Ambulance station that would consolidate two current stations in Vancouver and New Westminster, and a special operations-emergency management operations facility in North Delta.
The special operations center serves large special events in the Lower Mainland, such as the Giro di Burnaby and Symphony of Fire fireworks shows, as well as an emergency preparedness function for major disasters.
The proposed facility would include underground parking, storage space, vehicle restocking space and upper-floor offices and crew quarters.
"The facility will function as an ambulance dispatch station from the south Burnaby area and would accommodate six to eight ambulances and up to eight employees," the report said.
Vehicle access to the site would be from both Buller and Waltham.
The Vancouver ambulance station likely moving is located at 5478 Ormidale St., near Boundary Road and Vanness Avenue, a property awaiting redevelopment, said Burnaby Coun. Colleen Jordan.
Jordan said the only other ambulance station in Burnaby is on Douglas Road at Kitchener Street.
"We've been pressing for a long time to have service within Burnaby because basically we were being serviced out of New West, Vancouver and half a block into Burnaby on Boundary Road [near Douglas Road]." she said.
"To have a central core hub right in the centre of our population area, that seems like a good idea to me. That should help improve service and response times just by the closeness to the major part of our population."