New Kapa‘a fire truck quickly useful

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Dignitaries and firefighters gather to celebrate the blessing of the Kaua‘i Fire Department’s new brushfire truck and the finished renovation of the Kapa‘a fire station Thursday at the station in Waipouli.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Pastor Matt Higa of the New Hope Kaua‘i conducts the blessing of a new brushfire truck and conclusion of renovations at the Kaua‘i Fire Department Kapa‘a station on Kuhio Highway in Waipouli Thursday.

KAPA‘A — The new brushfire truck at the Kaua‘i Fire Department Kapa‘a fire station was put into necessary service before it was even blessed last week, and proved instrumental in controlling and finally extinguishing a pesky brush fire in Anahola that started Tuesday and was not fully extinguished until Wednesday night.

Formal blessing services for the new truck, and rennovation work at the Kapa‘a fire station, were held Thursday, officiated by Pastor Matt Higa of New Hope Kaua‘i, before representatives of Station 2, KFD, Kaua‘i Fire Commission, the Hawai‘i Fire Fighters Association, Friends of Kaua‘i Fire Service, the Kaua‘i County Council, the Office of the Mayor and others.

“Mahalo to the Kaua‘i Fire Department, and the KFD Apparatus Committee, for their work on the design of this truck and bringing this essential tool for the safety and protection of Kaua‘i and her people,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami.

The new Truck 2, marked at $102,893 allocated from the General Fund, replaces the Kapa‘a fire station’s last truck after it reached its service life of 14 years. Work to bring the new equipment to Station 2 started in 2019 by the KFD Apparatus Committee led by Firefighter Nohili Vierra.

“This truck is designed for responses here on Kaua‘i, and is equipped with special features, including surf racks, a fire pump, a water tank and hose reel,” said KFD Chief Steven Goble. “We are blessed to have Truck 2 for our island that serves as a crucial safety-response platform for land and water missions.”

The planned renovation work that came in a approximately $86,500 was budgeted in the General Fund, according to Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro.

“We were fortunate to have the mayor approve this work,” said Michael Contrades, representing U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele. “Work was already going on, and one thing led to another. We ended up purchasing some needed equipment, and we were fortunate to have the firemen do a lot of the sweat equity, including painting.”

Planned renovations to the station were already in progress. While on-site, the flooring contractor advised that the flooring tile needed to be inspected. The inspection confirmed the presence of asbestos from the samples taken from the tiles and mastic.

Following the abatement completion, renovation work continued with the firefighters performing a lot of the sweat equity, including moving equipment, furniture and items out of the station for renovation work to continue, preparing and painting station walls, ceilings and shelving, installing new kitchen cabinets, refurbishing the stainless-steeel kitchen sink and installing a new countertop donated by one of the firefighters. KFD estimates that the sweat equity performed by the firefighters saved the county $25,000.

The asbestos testing ($3,300), asbestos abatement ($10,000) and flooring installation ($11,000) formed the greater part of the renovation price tag. An additional $60,000 was spent on driveway and parking paving, new kitchen cabinets and accessories ($1,400) and paint and supplies ($800).

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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