Lac La Biche regional emergency service agencies partnered last Friday to host a group tour of the new Protective Services Building.
On March 11, Lac La Biche County Fire Rescue, Lac La Biche County Enforcement Services, Associated Ambulance EMS, and RCMP provided the group of homeschooled students and Lakeland Connect with a tour of the facilities and information about each of the agencies.
The Protective Services Building cost Lac La Biche County approximately $5.55 million.
“For this sum, we received a 29,564 square foot building on 3.78 acres of land,” Jihad Moghrabi Manager of Communications for Lac La Biche County said. “$4.1 million was spent to purchase the property in 2019. The County renovated the building, spending $550,000 in 2020, $842,000 in 2021, and $51,000 in 2022.”
Money well spent as the building and property accommodates Fire Services, Emergency Services, Enforcement Services (Peace Officers), and Search & Rescue Services.
John Kokotilo is the Manager of Protective Services and Regional Fire Chief in Lac La Biche.
“This was a long-awaited experience thanks to COVID. We were very fortunate to be able to set up this tour and to see such a large group that was enthusiastic and genuinely excited,” Kokotilo said. “Thank you also to the great media turn-out. The reactions and interest that were shown made my staff very appreciative and proud. Prior to the tour, I had a brief discussion with Mr. Ivan Sofin who arranged the meeting. He explained to me that he was focusing on events where the students get to see firsthand how different occupations work and possibly provide them direction on possible careers. Thank you Mr. Sofin.”
During the tour, an array of equipment was shown to students and the media. Students’ faces lit up as they climbed aboard the various fire trucks and were given fire hats from the department. Some students dressed as police in costumes and others simply enjoyed the flashing lights, sirens, and getting to wear a bulletproof vest.
Chris Clark is the Manager of Enforcement Services for Lac La Biche.
“Enforcement Services takes pride in the service that we deliver to the public and interacting positively with youth is one of our priorities,” Clark said. “Having youth interact positively with our staff bridges a relationship gap between law enforcement and the public. This reminds youth that our officers are there to help and work together to keep everyone safe.”
The tour for students and media lasted about two hours.