Maui News

VIDEO: Three Fire Fighting Vehicles added to Maui fleet

May 25, 2010, 11:30 PM HST
* Updated December 9, 2:16 PM
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Three fire department vehicles were blessed today with Hawaiian names reflective of the districts that they will serve.  The practice of naming the firefighting fleet in the Hawaiian tradition is unique to the county of Maui.

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Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares and Maui Fire Chief Jeff Murray tour discuss the features of the new mini pumper trucks and their ability to access narrow roads in Kula and Napili. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Tanker 3 which will be used to fight fire in the west Maui district was given the name Ma’a’a, a famous wind of the area that proved to be pleasant for chiefs who resided in the region.  Firefighter III Kyle Farm explained the mana’o behind the name, which also speaks of a brave, daring and bold nature.

The root word ‘a’a means “to meet a challenge,” and is reflective of the task that firefighters are faced with when they are deployed to protect life and property.

The Ma’a’a wind Farm said,  “moves over the Kahalawai, the West Maui Mountains, it goes out toward Lanai, and then because it’s so hot inland of Lahaina, it draws the wind back onshore.  It’s a very cooling breeze and it was enjoyed by the chiefs.”


“When you break down Ma’a’a, many of us know what ma’a means—to be familiar, to be accustomed to, to know something thoroughly.  And ‘a is a word used for fire or light.  Back in the days, in ka wa kahiko, the only light in Hawaii was in the sky, or fire.  The word for fire is ahi—‘a is light and hi is to push forward,” said Farm.


The Mini 11 truck will serve the district of Napili and was named Noweoula for a local of the region.  The literal translation is “scarlet red,” which refers tot the color of the light, consistent drizzle common in Napili.

The Mini 13 truck, which will serve the Kula district, was named Waiakoa meaning, “water of the warriors” and refers to a fresh water spring in Kula, said to have been a source of water for warriors in the area.

All three trucks were built by SVI Trucks of Loveland, Colorado and purchased with general county funds for a total price tag of $984,000.


“It’s always nice to come in and to a blessing of equipment that is going to give the department more and better tools to be able to do your jobs, which is to protect life and property,” said Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares.
”We are very proud of the fact that we were able to garner the funds to be able to get you the best equipment available,” said Tavares.

Tanker 3, Ma’a’a features a 2,000 gallon water tank, a 30 gallon foam tank, and a 500 gallon per minute pump with a compressed air and foam system.  The Mini 11 and Mini 13 trucks are capable of accessing narrow roads characteristic of the Kula and Napili regions.  Both are equipped with command lights, a 300 gallon water tank, 20 gallon foam tank and a 150 gallon per minute remote engine driven pump.

*** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our story on Maui Firefighter Lawrence “Larry” Crilley was honored for his efforts in the off-duty rescue of a near-drowning victim.

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