Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, West Hawaii Today is publishing a story about individuals, groups or organizations that have helped make life better for others in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pohakuloa Training Area earlier this month blessed the newest addition to the base — a recently renovated state-of-the-art fire house for the PTA Fire and Emergency Service team.
Following five years of planning, budgeting and reconstruction, the $4 million project is finished and ready to house fire fighters, rescue teams and other members of the PTA Emergency Services. The team provides first responder duties to the base, in addition to drivers who use Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Highway 200 as well as assisting with the Hawaii Fire Department in battling wildfires in the region.
“This has been a long time coming and we could not be more thrilled to finally have an appropriate blessing and grand opening to this fantastic facility,” said Eric Moller, PTA Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Services.
Along with more than a dozen fire fighters and paramedics attending the ceremony, outgoing PTA Commander LTC JR Borce noted the many accomplishments of the PTA Fire Department and the security that these first responders provide to the base and the community.
“I can’t thank you all enough, and I think I speak for the community when I say the community thanks you for all you do here at PTA and in the Saddle Region,” said Borce, whose command ended Tuesday. “I am very proud of this day and proud of your team for the countless lives you have saved on DKI highway or on Maunakea or Mauna Loa, so mahalo to you all.”
Kahu Kimo Hoopai of Waimea, graced the audience with heartfelt words of mahalo and congratulations and concluded with a blessing of the facility, emergency vehicles and the PTA Fire Fighters themselves.
Know a Hometown Hero that should be highlighted next Wednesday? It can be anybody, from a youngster doing good for the community, to a professional helping with the COVID-19 pandemic, or even a kupuna! Please send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Hometown Heroes Nomination. Please include the hero’s name, contact information and what makes them a hero.