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Kaua‘i Fire Department Changes Command

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i Fire Chief Steven Goble greets the audience with a great “Aloha!,” Wednesday following the formal change of command protocol celebrated at the Moikeha Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i Fire Chief Steven Goble is sworn in by Judge Randal Valenciano, Wednesday during the change of command protocol at the Moikeha Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    New Kaua‘i Fire Chief Steven Goble prepares for the badge pinning by handing Acting Chief Solomon Kanoho the new badge of office, Wednesday during the change of command protocol at the Moikeha Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    New Kaua‘i Fire Chief Steven Goble, second from left, is flanked by the Kaua‘i Fire Department Battalion Chiefs, including Jason Ornellas, former Acting Chief Solomon Kanoho, and Gary Hudson, Wednesday during the change of command ceremony at the Moikeha Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i Fire Chief Steven Goble accepts the Kaua‘i Fire Department’s colors from Acting Chief Solomon Kanoho, Wednesday during the traditional fire department’s change of command protocol at the Moikeha Building.

LIHU‘E — Fire and Ocean Safety Chief Steven Goble took the helm of the Kaua‘i Fire Department Wednesday morning in a Change of Command Ceremony held at the Lihu‘e Civic Center.

Temperatures were checked at the door to the county’s Rotunda as firefighters, police officers, members of the Ocean Safety Bureau and others filed into the courtyard filled with chairs adequately socially distanced.

Acting Fire Chief Solomon Kanoho will assume the position of Assistant Fire Chief, working alongside Goble.

“It has been and will always be an honor for me to serve every one of the members of the Kaua‘i Fire Department,” said Chief Kanoho. “I’m looking forward to assisting Chief Goble in working with all of you in the coming years.”

Judge Randal Valenciano swore Goble into his new position during the ceremony.

“In my heart of hearts, I am a firefighter and will always be a firefighter,” Goble said. “My role is to serve all of you and making sure I am a good steward for the community.”

Goble previously served as the fire chief of the Henderson (Nevada) Fire Department, a department he served in for over 25 years. He comes to the KFD from the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, where he served as the executive director of emergency management.

In Henderson, Goble oversaw nine fire stations including more than 250 full-time personnel covering more than 105 square miles with a population of more than 290,000 and 600,000 annual visitors.

The event was hosted by battalion chiefs Jason Ornellas and Gary Hudson, and the event began with a welcoming oli by Sabra Kauka, followed by the presenting of colors by the Kaua‘i Fire Honor Guard. Nalani Brun, director of the county’s Office of Economic Development, lent her voice to the National Anthem and Hawai‘i Pono‘i.

After 20 years with the KFD, Chief Robert Westerman announced his retirement in June 2018, setting off the search for a new replacement to begin at the start of the new year. With no luck, a year after he retired, he was rehired on an 89-day contract, which ended on April 4. Kanoho, who was Acting Assistant Fire Chief, was tapped for Acting Chief at the end of the term.

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

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