Sylvan Lake Lodge residents will soon be safer in the event of a fire thanks to $600,000 in provincial funding that will see the installation of fire sprinklers throughout the building.
Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Kerry Towle made the announcement during a visit with Lodge residents last Friday, and said such safety measures are entirely necessary — as evidenced by the 2014 nursing home fire that killed 32 seniors in Quebec.
“Unfortunately we lost very valued members of Canadian society because they could not get out in time, and that’s just unacceptable,” she said. “In the event of a fire (at the Lodge), we now have the proper tools and mechanisms in place to make sure that (Lodge residents) are safe and that they can have a relatively safe time to get out of the building.”
The safety of seniors is paramount and must be kept at the front of people’s minds, she added.
“We need to be ever vigilant on the safety of our most vulnerable and on the safety of those who need a hand,” she said. “We need to do what we can to make sure that they have the safest and healthiest environments to live in and that their homes are their homes.”
Towle was accompanied by town councillors and Sylvan Lake Lodge Foundation staff and board members, whom she thanked for working hard to advocate for Lodge residents’ safety.
Speaking to a small crowd of Lodge residents, she said: “Things like this don’t happen with one person — they happen with a team and a strong voice, and you have fantastic people speaking for you on your behalf to make sure that I can do my job the way I’m supposed to do it.”
Foundation board chair Laverne Asselstine said the funding for sprinklers at the Lodge was a case of money well spent.
“This funding is going to … make things a whole lot safer for this facility,” he said.”