“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared April 4, 1999.
Firehall #2 (EMS Headquarters)
• 1801 Macleod Trail S.E.
• Built: 1912 --1913
• Architect: Lang and Major, Calgary architects who also designed Fire Hall #1 and #3 and the city's 1913 Police Headquarters.
• Contractor: Herbert Jones and Son of Calgary.
• Original cost: $37,500.
• Construction materials: Reinforced concrete and masonry. Red pressed brick cladding and ashlar stone around the arched bays.
• Architectural style: Classical styling. Two stories with ornate hose tower.
• Original interior details: Pressed tin ceilings, brass slide poles, fir floors and trim.
• The building permit for the city's second firehall #2 was issued in September 1912. It was built to replace the first #2 station, which had been constructed around 1904 at 119 12th Ave. S.W.
• The 2nd Street S.E. station was constructed as a combined police station and firehall. Soon after the firehall opened in 1913, the staff became involved in Victoria Park Community events. During the 1913 Exhibition, #2 squad demonstrated their fire-extinguishing expertise to the grandstand crowd in a public relations exercise designed to educate and entertain.
• Exhibition officials deliberately set fire to a two storey house with a verandah which had been purchased for the display and hauled to the centre of the race track.
• The July 3 Calgary Herald described the evening performance: "His worship the Mayor will discover the fire and he will at once give the alarm at a regulation signal box. The new #2 station will respond.
"The engines will go around the car barns and city stables, and enter the grounds on the south side of the track. The engine carrying the hose will be driven round to the other side where the hydrant is situated. The distance travelled will be over a mile. As the doomed building has been soaked with oil and gasoline and plentifully supplied with powder the conflagration should be worth seeing. All the engines used will be motor powered and possibly one engine driven by horses will be sent in order to show the difference."
A week later, #2 firemen saved the Pryce Jones store on 1st Street S.W. when a $20,000 fire broke out in the store's kitchen.
• In 1918, the police were relocated and their quarters in #2 station were taken over by the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserve and St. John's Ambulance.
• During the 1920s, a senior citizens' group known as the Victoria Park Pioneers used the building as a meeting place.
• It was designated a provincial historic resource on October 13, 1978.
• The City of Calgary renovated the building's interior in 1986. On Dec. 16, 1987, the former #2 firehall re-opened as Emergency Medical Services Department headquarters.
• The paramedics and emergency medical technicians of EMS provide 24 hour a day out-of-hospital emergency and non-emergency medical care and transportation at an advanced life support level. EMS celebrates Awareness Week from April 4th to I0th, 1999.
• For more information about EMS history, visit the department's web site at: http://www.gov.calgary.ab.ca/EMS/HISTORY.HTM