Two big donations from the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) are creating hands-on learning opportunities for future firefighters at Honolulu Community College and Hawaiʻi Community College.
Both campuses have received retired fire trucks from HFD. The donations also included other firefighting equipment, such as ladders, nozzles, adapters, lights, axes and chain saws.
Honolulu Community College student Sydney Price said, “I think it’s awesome because even for other classes we haven’t had the correct equipment all the time, so sometimes doing skills is a little more difficult, but this is definitely going to be a big help.”
Honolulu CC’s fire truck will be used by fire science students to practice deploying hose lines for water supply and fire attacks. The truck will also transport student firefighters and their equipment to practice search and rescue operations. Fire science is among the most popular majors at both campuses. Honolulu CC averages about 200 students a year and there are more than a hundred current majors at Hawaiʻi CC.
“They clean together, they cook together, they have to do their job together and I just learned it’s one big family,” said Honolulu Community College student Stephen Taheny. “That’s what I really liked about it. Also the topic of firefighting that’s cool itself. That is a big plus.”
Incumbent firefighters have also been educated at UH. Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel Neves received his fire science degree from Honolulu CC in 1984.
“So you can see where this program can lead to a position as a fire chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, the 16th largest fire department in the country,” Neves said. “So possibly in this group that we see here, the next fire chief or the future fire chief may be standing with their hands at ease right now.”
The donated fire trucks are also helping more than one program. Diesel mechanics students at both campuses will provide upkeep and maintenance of the vehicles to ensure the education of the state’s future firefighters.
For more about the programs go to: