East Hawaii News

Hilo and Kona Airports Gain Additional Fire and Rescue Personnel

March 22, 2013, 4:45 PM HST
* Updated March 22, 4:48 PM
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Sixteen new fire-fighters will be assigned to Aircraft Rescue and fire fighting stations across the state, including at Hilo International and Kona International Airports.

All of the additional fire personnel come from a group of 39 recruits that graduated today from the Federal Fire Department Joint Fire-Fighter Recruit Academy.

The recruits completed 22 weeks of instruction at the Federal-State-Pacific Missile Range Facility training program, including live fire-fighting, engine and vehicle operations, emergency medical training, hazardous materials response, and vehicle extrication and rescue operations in various scenarios that may occur across the islands.

Recruits received training in ocean, wildlerness and confined-space environments, along with helicopter and rope rescues.

“The sixteen new recruits will help to augment fire-fighting and rescue operations at five airports statewide and help to ensure the safety of the traveling public in the event of emergencies,” said Glenn Okimoto, state Department of Transportation Director.

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The additional airport staffing comes amid federal closures of over one hundred FAA control towers. None of those closures are currently scheduled to affect Hawaii-based operations.

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