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Letters | 10-19-15

Updated: 
October 18, 2015 - 1:30am

Ironman Foundation has given Big Island much for which to be thankful

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation is proud to announce the gifting on Sept. 5 at the 18th annual awards dinner of a 2015 Ironman Foundation grant in the amount of $21,734. This gift is designated to purchase essential life saving underwater to underwater, and underwater to surface communication systems for the dive rescue teams of the Hawaii County Fire Department. This advanced technology will replace a rope communication system whereby no verbal communication at all was possible. The gift also includes technologically advanced diving regulators for the Hawaii County Fire Department to use during dive rescues and recoveries.

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation is grateful to the Ironman Foundation for its steadfast partnership in the quest to save more lives on the Big Island. Its continued support over the past 18 years has helped the Sayre Foundation to purchase a fully equipped brushfire truck for Bravo 7 Volunteer Station at the bottom of Kona Palisades. This truck was recently used to help save homes and property during the Kawaihae/Mauna Kea Resort fire. Two ATVs and a Gator were purchased through a gift from the Ironman Foundation and have also assisted in off-road fire suppression. The Long Range Communication System for Hapuna Beach donated to the Sayre Foundation as a gift from the Ironman Foundation, has helped the ocean safety officers to save countless lives during rough ocean conditions and shark sightings. A swift water training program has just been completed for the Hawaii County Fire Department as a result of a grant from the Ironman Foundation to the Sayre Foundation. This training program is essential in saving lives during flash flooding conditions, and was used recently at the Boiling Pots rescue attempt.

When minutes count, the county’s rescue helicopter is now more rapidly deployed thanks to the Chopper Spotter donated by the Ironman Foundation. The helicopter is also equipped with an infrared thermal imager, which detects body heat and operates at night. This was instrumental in the recent searches for missing divers, kayakers, fishermen and hikers. This, too, is a gift from the Ironman Foundation.

The Ironman Foundation, through the guidance of Event Director Diana Bertsch, has touched the lives of the entire island community. It has also positively impacted our visitors from the U.S. and abroad with these life-saving and property-saving gifts.

The 2015 Ironman Triathlon World Championship is now over for this year. We at the Daniel Sayre Foundation want to sincerely thank the Ironman Foundation for all that it does to support the community. Its continued giving to our local nonprofit organizations has helped to make the Big Island a better and safer place to live.

Dr. Frank Sayre and Laura Mallery-Sayre

The The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation

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