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COUNTY OF HAWAII <br />RESOLUTION NO. <br />STATE OF HAWAII <br />333 23 <br />A RESOLUTION STRONGLY URGING THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR TO <br />INCREASE CAPACITY AND FUNDING FOR THE HAWAII FIRE DEPARTMENT <br />TO PROACTIVELY MITIGATE THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF WILDFIRES. <br />WHEREAS, the Hawaii Fire Department (hereinafter referred to as "HFD") plays a <br />crucial role in protecting the lives and property of our residents and visitors; and <br />WHEREAS, HFD's mission encompasses preventing, mitigating, and responding to <br />fires, as well as addressing other emergencies such as medical incidents, hazardous materials <br />situations, and natural disasters; and <br />WHEREAS, the County of Hawaii has experienced an alarming increase in the number <br />of wildfires in recent history, and these wildfires have exhibited greater size, intensity, duration, <br />and destruction, largely attributed to changes in our climate, including prolonged periods of <br />drought, extreme weather conditions, and accumulation of hazardous fuel sources (see "Exhibit <br />A" attached hereto); and <br />WHEREAS, these evolving wildfire patterns pose a significant threat to the health, <br />safety, and well-being of our community, environment, and economy; and <br />WHEREAS, "fire seasons" have transformed into entire "fire years" where a year-round <br />workforce is required for suppression, recovery, and planning for future wildfires; and <br />WHEREAS, a proactive and comprehensive strategy is essential to preventing wildfires, <br />including investment in fire prevention measures such as creating firebreaks, conducting <br />controlled burns, and promoting public awareness and education (see "Exhibit B" attached <br />hereto); and <br />WHEREAS, in addition to fire prevention, investments must be made in firefighter <br />training, apparatus, equipment, and facilities maintenance to ensure that HFD personnel have the <br />necessary resources to safely and effectively combat fires and respond to emergencies (see <br />"Exhibit C" attached hereto); and <br />WHEREAS, the successful recruitment and retention of our HFD career firefighters is of <br />paramount importance to maintain the highest level of fire protection and emergency response <br />services for the people of our community, ensuring their continued safety and well-being; and <br />WHEREAS, a volunteer firefighter program complements our dedicated career <br />firefighters during emergency situations and must operate in strict adherence to the established <br />policies, rules, and regulations formulated by HFD to ensure a volunteer's safety as well as <br />effective and coordinated emergency response services (see "Exhibit D" attached hereto); now, <br />therefore, <br />