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CITY HOSTS HAWAII’S FIRST-EVER EMERGENCY RESPONSE

FOR FERRY SYSTEMS TRAINING

 

The City and County of Honolulu this week hosted an important training program focused on emergency responses involving ferries.

 

Representatives from the State, Federal government, Neighbor Island counties and private sector joined Honolulu emergency personnel to participate in the Emergency Responder Interface with Ferry Systems Training.

 

Honolulu was one of the first cities to receive this new training, which was developed by the Homeland Security Institute of Seattle and its partners, and unveiled in Hawaii for the first time through the City’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM).

 

A total of 110 participants attended the training, which was held at Fort Shafter on Tuesday and Wednesday at the request of the DEM. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved and sponsored the training, which was provided at no cost to the City or guest participants.

 

“This training is timely and critical to ensure the safety and security of these new transportation options for our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who addressed the participants on the opening day. “It was great to see first responders from all levels of government and the private sector together to meet each other and discuss issues before an event occurs. Establishing relationships now will help all of us later if we are called upon to respond together.”

 

DEM Director Mel Kaku, who formerly headed Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services, said he is keenly aware of the need to prepare to respond not only to an incident aboard the City’s commuter ferry known as TheBoat, but also to an incident aboard the Hawaii Superferry.

 

“I am pleased that the City and our private and public sector partners attended this training, but this is only the beginning,” said Director Kaku. “DEM will continue to facilitate post-training working group meetings to develop Standard Operating Procedures delineating jurisdictional roles and responsibilities, protocols, reporting requirements, cost reimbursements for rescue and response efforts, and other issues arising from this training and any necessary mutual aid agreements.”

 

            The course, successfully developed for the Puget Sound area by the Homeland Security Institute of Seattle, addressed threats and vulnerabilities, jurisdictional responsibilities, and preparation for ferry boat incidents whether at berth or underway.  Although this course was developed for the Puget Sound area, the Department of Homeland Security asked the creators to take the course to other jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, Maine, Staten Island, the Great Lakes, and Louisiana.

 

Representatives from the City included employees of the Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department, Department of Emergency Services, Department of Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation Services. 

 

Participants from the Neighbor Islands included employees of Maui Civil Defense Agency, Maui Police Department, Maui Fire Department, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, Hawaii County Fire Department and Kauai Civil Defense Agency.

 

State representatives came from the Sheriff’s office, the Attorney General’s office, Department of Transportation, Harbor Police and Department of Defense. 

 

Federal participants included representatives from the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. 

 

Private sector participants included TheBoat, the Hawaii Superferry, and the Area Marine Security Group.

                  

Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Monday, April 21, 2008

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