SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Green Diamond Equipment on Locke Shore Road in Summerside held its Grand Opening on Friday evening and is a very different – and safer facility – than the original building, which was completely destroyed by a massive fire in 2016.
“We lost tens of millions of dollars between parts, equipment, customer equipment, and the building itself,” recalled Tina Sears, the CEO of Green Diamond Equipment. “The old building was home to a lot of long-term and close-knit employees since it first opened in the late 90’s, so they lost a special spot.”
Workers at still remember the raging flames, a sound of popping ammunition, and thick smoke that poured out from the dealership and over the city of Summerside.
“I was at home when I got the phone call that I should come in. At that point, I wanted to get here to make sure everyone was safe and out of the building,” said Colin Pearce, the corporate aftermarket manager.
“At that time we had firearms in the building, and I wanted to make sure the fire crew knew that there was ammunition in the building so that their people would be safe too,” he continued. “Safety was the priority, and everyone got out unharmed.”
Jeff Wood, the store manager, was on vacation with his wife when the devastating news broke.
“I was away travelling with my wife on a cruise and some people that were with us said the building was on fire. I wasn’t too alarmed at the time because I thought it would quickly be contained, but when I turned my phone on and saw the images I was shocked,” recalled Wood, a long-term employee of the farm dealership.
Despite the damage, the group were able to rebound quickly and move into a temporary Slemon Park location within two weeks, before plans to rebuild began.
“We took our time in the planning stage to make sure it was exactly right, so Jeff Wood and Colin Pearce were integral in working with the layout, and of course, Lindsay Construction’s Tyler Richard and Alex Fullarton. It’s a very efficient use of the space,” acknowledged Sears.
“We have focussed on safety and added a fire sprinkler system, so we will not lose another building to fire. This is a state-of-the-art, re-engineered steel, and concrete building, and has the safety features from both fire suppression and worker safety. It’s a beautiful spot,” she continued.
Established in 2007, Green Diamond Equipment was formed as a joint venture between the P.E.I. Farm Equipment and Planter’s Equipment. In 2008, the two partners merged into Green Diamond Equipment.
In 2012, the company purchased three additional locations, and in 2016, Green Diamond Equipment merged with Reddin Equipment. Green Diamond Equipment now has approximately 300 employees across 14 locations throughout the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I.
“The community supported us through a very difficult time and now we’ve rebuilt and are ready to continue working and growing with them. We want to showcase the new facility and say, ‘thank you’ for supporting us through these hard times, and we are here to support you,” said Sears.
Wood added, “Despite the fire, I’ve never had any reason I would want to work anywhere else.”
The new building homes more than 375 pieces of new and used equipment that customers can use for farming, construction, landscaping, and residential needs.
For more information visit, www.green-diamond.ca.