U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa Training Area first responders, along with many county and volunteer agencies were recognized at the Waimea Community Association (WCA) annual Mahalo to First Responders event at the Kahilu Town Hall, November 16, 2022. Certificates of Appreciation and bags of thank you notes from local students were presented to participating agencies.
“We are grateful to be able to host this in-person this year, after two years of a virtual mahalo,” said Nancy Carr Smith, Secretary of WCA and coordinator of the Mahalo to First Responders Event. “It was important to come together in person and acknowledge these great community contributors face to face!”
The PTA Commander, Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin; Fire Chief Travis Stewart and Assistant Fire Chief Karl Hopkins; Firefighter Lothian Brown, and Police Officer Sgt. Lance Stevens; along with their families attended the event.
“Our PTA Fire and Emergency Services team does incredible work,” said Cronin. The PTA Fire Department won the 2021 Small Fire Department of the Year in the U.S. Army Installation Management Command-Pacific’s competition.
“We’re also proud to support the public through mutual aid agreements with county agencies to respond to emergencies off of PTA,” adds Cronin.
PTA provides valuable emergency support to the community within a 500-square mile radius in the Saddle Rd. region, and is often the first to arrive on scene for incidents on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway. Thus far this year, the PTA Fire Department has responded to 121 emergency calls, ranging from lost hikers, wildland fires, Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs), to injured persons.
“Mutual Aid agreements are a force multiplier, allowing PTA and Hawaii County to bolster each other’s’ capabilities while minimizing service overlaps in a lean budget environment,” said PTA Assistant Chief Gregory Simon.