Faced with more growth and increased fire protection demands, the Kaua‘i Fire Department brass looked high and low last year for more storage space for equipment and goods.
Glenn Hong, the president and chief executive officer of Young Brothers, and Nathan Kapule, a retired Honolulu Fire Department captain and now safety officer for the inter-island barge company, provided the answer: two free 20-foot metal containers.
“Our needs have spiraled since 9/11,” Kaua‘i fire Capt. John Blalock said yesterday.“Our needs and scope have increased.”
Fire chief Robert Westerman said the gift will help improve the department’s efficiency.
“We appreciate the community support in this fashion,” he said, standing outside the container with Blalock.
Scheduled to meet at the historic County Building Wednesday, the Kaua‘i County Council will consider accepting the donation of the two containers.
The other container, sitting in a Young Brothers facility in Honolulu right now, will be given to the county at an unspecified date.
Blalock said the containers are needed to help a department that will only grow bigger and bigger, due to need. The department employs 130 firefighters and will likely hire seven new ones soon who will go through training and probation, said Blalock, a trainer himself.
Blalock said he called Kapule in early January to see if Young Brothers could help his department.
Kauai Nursery delivered the single container to Kaua‘i on Jan. 18 and put it on a few concrete blocks at a fire department facility.
The donation touches the department, Blalock said.“We just want to say thank you to Mr. Glenn Hong. It was very generous of him.”
The aged, somewhat rusted look of the container doesn’t bother Westerman. He sees function over form.
“It helps us provide better service,” Westerman said with a smile.
• Lester Chang, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or firstname.lastname@example.org.