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Manager of the Year

Battalion Chief (BC) James Perkins



Chief Perkins has been a member of the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) for almost 30 years.  He has been a BC for the last 11 years with assignments in Honolulu, Kapolei, Special Operations, and Fire Operations (OPS).  He is assigned as the BC for the Honolulu urban area.  His fire fighting background includes Hazardous Materials (HM) Technician and engine and ladder experience. 


Chief Perkins is an experienced Incident Commander (IC) and has addressed high-rise and industrial incidents; ocean and mountain rescues; HM responses; emergency events; and large, wildland fires.  He was an integral component of the HFD's 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Honolulu Forum conference plan and participated in All-Hazards Incident Management Team (AHIMT) training. 


In 2012, he completed an IC training deployment to the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire in New Mexico, which consumed an area larger than the island of Oahu and involved 1,800 fire fighters at a cost of $23 million.  He was also deployed as an IC to the logistics staging area for the Hurricane Sandy Relief effort.  His involvement at these incidents helped the HFD achieve its goal of mitigating incidents and providing transitional capabilities at prolonged incidents.


He is the HFD representative for the City's rail project and participated in rapid transit awareness training in West Virginia.  Chief Perkins will provide input and guidance as the HFD develops protocols and procedures to address rail emergencies and disaster response.


Chief Perkins participated in various investigations training; provided his expertise during numerous investigations; and contributed valuable suggestions, such as the need to develop an internal affairs unit.  As the HFD flourishes, it is necessary to acquire skills to facilitate this growth.


He is a hands-on leader and coordinates various entities emanating from Fire Operations.  He observes and provides feedback during monthly Basic Firefighting Skills Evaluation (BFSE) exercises and advises and supports Small Equipment Committee activities. 


Chief Perkins is an asset to the HFD and always provides his best to the community and the Department.  He is a respected fire fighter and leader, a positive resource for HFD personnel, and deserving of this nomination.



Employee of the Year

BC Sheldon Hao



Chief Hao was appointed in 1996 and has systematically progressed through the ranks of the HFD.  He is assigned to OPS as a BC for rural Oahu, where his duties include operational support for nine BCs.  At the time of this nomination, Chief Hao was a Fire Captain assigned to OPS.


His enthusiasm and diligence with work assignments have been reoccurring traits in his climb through the ranks.  His numerous assignments have provided him an assortment of skills and experience, and he continues to expand and excel beyond the expectations of his daily duties.


Chief Hao requested and received a special assignment to OPS.  He volunteered for AHIMT training.  The skills he acquired through this training provided the basic management tools necessary for the APEC Honolulu Forum conference.  Chief Hao was part of a dedicated group who tracked the APEC budget; acquired specialized equipment; instituted Departmentwide training; developed the HFD's operational plan; and implemented and coordinated more than 1,200 assignments for this week-long event.


He reinstituted the Small Equipment Committee, gathered new members, and addressed the HFD's needs by evaluating nozzles, ladder belts, fire hoses, inflatable rescue boards, and chainsaws.  He also implemented a purchasing plan for these equipment items.


Chief Hao also assists the HFD's Administrative Services Bureau in developing and monitoring the OPS' budget, which is approximately $80 million.  Spending plans were developed for each program. 


A Company Staffing Program was instituted to promote safe staffing levels while maintaining budgetary protocols.  Chief Hao set allotments for each battalion and readdresses them weekly to account for training events and long-term absences.  This ongoing staffing program requires constant monitoring of resources, available funds, timely decision-making, and proper notification.


Chief Hao is the Fire Operations' liaison with the HFD's Training and Research Bureau.  He assisted with coordinating pumping apparatus driver/operator and photovoltaic classes and monitored related training costs.  He also monitored training curriculums emanating from Fire Operations, including rescue watercraft, and researched and developed training plans for other disciplines, such as all-terrain vehicles.  Moreover, he finds time to observe and evaluate company training skills via the BFSE and Basic Medical Skills Evaluation programs.



Civilian Employee of the Year

Carolyn Hall



Carolyn Hall is a Planner IV with the Planning and Development section and serves as the HFD Grant Manager.  She is responsible for managing the State's Homeland Security Grant (SHSG) Program and works with City and state grant agents to ensure that program expenditure and documentation requirements are met.  She is also the HFD's representative for the state's Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant program and works with the four counties and the state to enhance Hawaii's preparedness efforts against significant incidents, such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and pandemic influenza.


Ms. Hall's impeccable work demonstrates tremendous initiative and follow-through.  When grant funds were in jeopardy of lapsing, she assisted other City agencies, including the HFD, with its expenditure.  She recently acquired funds through the Department of Emergency Management to enable hazardous material personnel develop operational practices to identify radioactive isotopes that will improve our effectiveness and enhance safety.  These funds were approved by the Local Emergency Planning Committee and were in jeopardy of lapsing. 


Ms. Hall also assisted the City with the completion of radio installations in more than 650 City vehicles and baseyards.  Through her diligence, she expended grant funds of $250,000 to complete the installations before the funds expired.


The federal grant management process subjects the HFD and the City to numerous audits and evaluations, which include review of the HFD's purchasing procedures, documentation, record keeping, and inventory and asset allocations.  The HFD met the requirements of the National Significant Security Event program, which resulted in reimbursement by the federal government.  In previous years, Ms. Hall was also responsible for managing Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants.


During peak grant years when Honolulu received SHSG and UASI grants, Ms. Hall effectively managed more than $5.5 million and efficiently performed in different stages of the research, bidding and award process, procurement, delivery, receipt, and tracking.  Her expertise and understanding of the grant process has made her a training resource for many City employees, as she openly shares her knowledge of how to obtain and manage grant funds.


Ms. Hall volunteers for the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross in numerous capacities, such as mass sheltering and care, community partnerships, and mental health.  As a member of their national disaster response framework, she was deployed to such disasters as the Mississippi flood, the American Samoa tsunami, and areas devastated by Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, Isaac, and Sandy. 


Ms. Hall is an exemplary employee who is diligent, dedicated, enthusiastic, and selfless.  Those who have had the opportunity to work with her will unquestionably concur with the above-mentioned accolades.  Although she is not a fire fighter, she has managed to garner numerous grants to assist the HFD in accomplishing its mission.  The HFD is proud to nominate Ms. Hall as its Employee of the Year.



Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 17, 2013