Maui News


February 5, 2009, 6:58 AM HST
* Updated February 6, 8:19 AM
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(Story & Photos by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

The Maui Fire Department added two new vehicles to its fleet yesterday-an engine for West Maui and an Air/Light Truck for large scale incident response.

The new Engine 3 will be stationed at the Lahaina Fire Station and will be used in protecting the West Maui Community. The 1500 gallon per minute pumper truck is also equipped with a Compressed Air Foam System that effectively extends the amount of water used to extinguish fires. The truck was given the name “Ka Malu Ulu o Lele”-loosely translated as standing strong in the defense of fire. The new Engine 3 was purchased at a cost of $578,000 and replaces the 1990 pumper truck, which will now be used as a relief apparatus.

Engine 3 has the unique capability of being four-wheel drive. “As you know on the West Side, as we get further out in Launiupoko and Napili, there are a lot of mountain and off-road areas that require response. So the capability of four-wheel drive is a tremendous asset to the Department, allowing us to get a lot closer to the fire,” said Acting Assistant Chief Dave Thyne.



The new Air/Light Truck is a Frontliner emergency response vehicle that will be utilized during large incidents countywide. The vehicle is able to refill the self contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) used by Maui firefighters while on scene. The vehicle also provides a rehab area for medical monitoring, a generator for electrical power, and a broad beam light source at the scene of an incident.

“We have a similar type of light on our hazmat vehicle. The new truck was taken on a test run to Hookipa Beach Park at about 8:30 or 9 o’clock at night and we were able to light up all of Hookipa Bay,” said Thyne.

The $343,000 Frontliner was partially financed by a homeland security grant. Funds for the air horn recharging system and specialized graphics, including reflective striping for higher visibility and the department’s emblem, were supplied by a portion of a grant from the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. The Frontliner, Kalanipa’a, was also named in the Hawaiian tradition by Fire Fighter III Kyle Farm, meaning “heavenly firmament, beacon, light source.”


Both trucks are 2009 models, built in Colorado by contractor SVI.

“These vehicles will not only help protect our community, but they will also help ensure the safety and well-being of our fire fighters,” said Managing Director Sheri Morrison, who spoke at today’s ceremony.

“While it is exciting to have new apparatus to put into use, their purpose of saving- and safeguarding- lives is serious business,” said Morrison.

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