Abbotsford firefighters now have a dedicated training gym, thanks to the support of local business North West Rubber.
The project began in the fall, when the City of Abbotsford, which was upgrading its recreation centres, offered gym equipment to Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS).
Previously, on-duty firefighters did not have a dedicated workout space outside of their fire training service, and they were pumping iron and doing pushups on the kinds of mats that are used in horse stalls.
North West Rubber donated more than 600 square feet of professional sport flooring for the new workout space.
Marketing specialist Dee Sekhon was helping out with floor layouts and colour combinations when she came up with the idea of incorporating a logo for the gym.
AFRS assistant fire chief Jeff Snider had an image he’d put together for a wall vinyl, and Sekhon agreed that it could be incorporated into the flooring.
The logo then fell into the hands of Shawn Kavanagh, North West Rubber’s technical service specialist.
With the help of Abbotsford firefighters, the North West Rubber Team installed the floor over a full day. The first pieces to go down revealed a familiar black-and-red logo.
“It was cool to see their eyes lighting up when they saw the logo,” Kavanagh said. “These guys were all super excited, and they wanted to get that thing in as quick as possible.”
The gym is now seeing regular use from some of the 200 men and women who answer the area’s 911 calls.
It’s part of the larger AFRS training centre on Riverside Road, where career and auxiliary firefighters run drills in burning buildings, practise rescue operations, and hone and maintain their expertise.
Snider said the floor is a “constant source of compliments” from members and visitors, and the gym has been a big success.
“Since putting the floor in and completing the work on our fitness area, we have had a very large buy-in by our firefighters,” he said.