We can dig it!
From the left, councillor Cindy Saucier, director of finances, Richard Godin, executive director Johnathan Bourgon, CAO of Russell Township, Jean Leduc, deputy chief of Prescott-Russell Paramedics, Marc Andre Periard, Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux, deputy chief of administration Eric Larcque, senior project manager of Collier’s Project Leaders Caroline Delisle, project manager of Bourgon Construction, Jason St. Louis and assistant project manager Elise Bickel break the ground of where the new paramedic services building will be built in Embrun. The project is due to be completed next April. Glover photo

EMBRUN – The deal is done, and the ground is broken!

Russell Township has officially entered into an agreement to kick off the construction of a new 7,000 square-foot paramedic services building in Embrun at 371 New York Central Avenue to better serve the community.

“When the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) paramedics evaluate their call volumes and they forecast for the future, they see that the call volume is increasing in this area and they need more coverage in this area. That’s why the discussion started on how to move forward and look at a new construction in this area,” said Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux. “That’s when the township and the UCPR started talking, and we realized it was a potential partnership there.”

“In regard to the coverage, I think the reality is we’re the closest municipality to Ottawa and we know the current situation. Our paramedics are often called into Ottawa and when that happens, this area is the first one to go,” he said. “But yes, there is always need for more coverage in this area.”

According to Marc Andre Periard, the deputy chief of Prescott and Russell Paramedics, the plan for the moment is to have two ambulances run out of the new facility but, after reviewing the next year’s call volume, that could increase.

“We’re going to have two ambulances 24 hours a day,” he said. “We will also have two spare vehicles and once we evaluate on an annual basis what our call volume is, [if] the growth rate is at about six per cent bigger, we’ll be ready to just pull the plug and add more paramedics.”

Construction officially started Fri., Sept. 20, with the mayor, along with other members of Russell Township and Prescott and Russell Paramedics to help commemorate the kick-off with a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of the $2.2-million project.

As part of Russell Township’s strategic plan, this new structure will be built to accommodate the needs for the residents of the township and the UCPR. Bourgon Construction Ltd. will be undertaking the construction of the new station while Colliers Project Leaders will lead the building design and supervise the project.

If everything stays up to plan, the township hopes to complete this project by April 1 of next spring.

“Obviously, construction season is a variable, depending on the weather,” said Leroux. “But, I’m confident in the team that’s involved to get this done.”