Hawaii County held a blessing ceremony Monday for the new Makalei fire station in North Kona.
The station is on Mamalahoa Highway, less than a mile north of Kaiminani Drive. The $7 million, 11,000-square-foot facility is the county’s largest fire station. The federal government provided $4 million.
The station will provide the Kalaoa area of North Kona with quicker emergency response times. Before the Makalei fire station was opened, the next closest station was seven miles to the south at Palani Road and Queen Kaahumanu Highway.
The fire station, designed by KYA Design Group, includes three truck bays, hose tower, pump house, office, kitchen and training room, dormitory, exercise/work rooms, a dedicated classroom, laundry room and fuel tank.