Baptiste names Hiramoto as new fire chief

LIHU’E – Charles Hiramoto, a 24-year veteran with the Kaua’i Fire Department, has been named county fire chief by Mayor-Elect Bryan Baptiste. Hiramoto, who has served as Suppression Captain at the Koloa Fire Station for six years, will succeed Chief David Sproat, who will retire as of December 2, 2002.

“Charlie is well-respected by the firefighters, and has an impeccable record as someone who leads with integrity and fairness,” Baptiste said in a prepared statement. “I’m very happy that he has accepted this very important position.”

Hiramoto was born and raised in Koloa, and graduated from Kaua’i High School in 1968. He earned an Associates Degree in Structural Engineering from

Oregon Technical Institute in 1971, and began a career in public service upon returning to Hawai’i.

Prior to joining the Kaua’i Fire Department in 1978, Hiramoto worked as an Engineer’s Aide under Mayor Frank Fasi in Honolulu and on Kaua’i in the County’s Department of Public Works.

Hiramoto’s career with KFD includes ten years as a firefighter and two years as a rescue operator, before he was promoted to HAZMAT Captain at the Lihu’e Fire Station 12 years ago. Since then, he worked for five years as a fire captain in the Hanalei District, and six years in Koloa.

Hiramoto has often been tapped to serve as acting chief in the absence of Chief Sproat, and as acting Battalion Chief when needed.

“The Fire Department has always tried to provide the best service to the public and we’ll continue to research ways to enhance that. We’ll be looking for ways to use technology to expand our services,” stated Hiramoto. “It is truly an honor to receive this vote of confidence from Mayor-Elect Baptiste. I will do my best represent the men and women of the Kauai Fire Department and serve the people of Kaua’i.”

A resident of Kalaheo, Hiramoto and his wife have three children.

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