Honolulu Truck 3
Hawaiian Fire Departments
fire departments of Hawaii are interesting, not because
of some exotic organization or equipment,
but because they have carried a concept in government
to a degree that is probably rare. Their government divisions
and practices will be foreign to most of us.
Here are some basic concepts they practice.
There are virtually no city governments in the entire
state. There are no city councils. There
are no city governments to deal with. All fire departments
are county run. (With the exception of the federal FD's
on military bases.)
There are only four counties in the entire state. Yes,
this means that there are only four "municipal" fire
Each of the four counties is lead by a, non-partisan,
mayor and council.
Sometimes a county will include several populated
islands. This is the case with Maui County.
Maui County encompass the populated islands of Maui,
Lanai and Molokai.
County E-3, Lahaina
- Almost all Hawaiian fire apparatus is
yellow. This started to change from red about 10-15 years
ago. There are still a few red apparatus, but they are
rare. Kauai County still has red apparatus.
Hawaii firefighters work the "west coast" time
schedule with 24 on / 24 off, for four shifts then
several days off in a row. Exception- Because Lanai
considered a "remote" fire station the firefighters
there work 3 days on and 6 days off.
Lanai has less than 4000 in population.
Kauai Fire Department, E-3, Lihue
Rescue 3, Kauai, Lihue
- The 2005 population estimate for Hawaii
is 1.25 million.
About 1,000,000 people live in Honolulu County on Oahu.
This makes it the 11th largest "city" in
This means that 250,00 are divided among the seven
other islands. (That's an average of only 36,000
per island but some are almost unpopulated with less
than 1000 residents.)
FD has 44 stations with 5 Battalions.
County FD has 7 fire stations.
County FD has 13 stations.
(Big Island) FD has 454 full-time personnel and
345 volunteer firefighters. (22 Fire Stations???)
(Big Island) Station 9
(Photo by David Moskovitz)
Police protection is county run also. (On some islands
the police simply use their own cars with a blue light
Big Island Police Car (Moskovitz Photo)
- What we think of as cities all over the
islands, aren't really. For example, Kona and Hilo on
The Big Island are not incorporated cities. They have
no mayors, no city councils, no police departments and
no fire departments.
Hawaii has no school districts. It has the only
state run school system in the U.S..
Ford Island (Pearl Harbor) Federal Fire Department,
Battleship Missouri in the background.)
Ford Island Fire Station, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, taken from the USS
Rescue Vehicle, Kauai Airport (State fire service)