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Honolulu firefighter critically injured in training accident off Diamond Head

  • COURTESY HAWAII NEWS NOW

    An ambulance responded to a park near Diamond Head after a firefighter was critically injured in a training accident offshore.

The Honolulu Fire Department is investigating an accident during a training operation in which two firefighters were injured, one critically, this morning in waters off Diamond Head.

The accident occurred at 10:45 a.m. during a rescue watercraft training operation.

HFD issued a short media release saying that one firefighter remains in critical condition and another was treated and released at a local hospital.

HFD Capt. David Jenkins said he could not release any further details than what was contained in the news release.

Fire Chief Manuel Neves said in a written statement: “On behalf of the members of the Honolulu Fire Department, our thoughts and prayers are with the injured firefighter. We ask the public for their continued respect for the privacy of the firefighter and his family.”

The Fire Department will provide more information when it becomes available.

A high surf advisory was in effect for south shore waters. Forecasters said wave heights of 5 to 8 feet were expected today.

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  • This is a reminder of the hard work and dedication that our Hawaii Fireman bring to the job. These guys risk their lives training in heavy surf so that that they can save us when we, our family, friends, and visitors need them most.

    The Hawaii Firemen and our Lifeguards are the absolute best. I always say “call 911 and see who shows up first.” It’s almost always the excellent and dedicated Firemen. Thank you all for the work you do and the sacrifices you make.

    Best wishes for a speedy and easy recovery for this hero.

  • What a tragedy. Our community suffers when those we rely upon in dire circumstances are injured, or worse, in the line of duty. It’s even more of a tragedy when they are tasked with performing highly specialized and dangerous duties that are not a normal part of their training and skill set.

    Firefighters are highly training and skilled in firefighting. Ocean lifeguards are highly trained and skilled in ocean rescue. Why are we putting these emergency responders’ lives on the line in the ocean when we have other emergency responders who have greater experience, are better trained, and are readily available to respond to ocean emergencies?

    Unfortunately, this is not the first instance in which firefighters have been injured, some severely, attempting ocean rescues in high surf situations or training for the same.

    Let’s leave these situations to the ocean lifeguards who specialize in ocean rescue and let our firefighters do what they do best: fight fires.

    • The ocean is there 24/7 and the Lifeguards go off duty. So the Fire Department is the second string and they do the “dirty work” of recovery … when it is too late for a rescue. It will be interesting in this case to see if the retrospective will place learning opportunity on the individual execution or the amount of peril imposed by a superior in charge. Sorry about these 1/2 stories when there are no answers to logical questions the brain starts to speculate. I hope these firefighters have a full speedy recovery.

      • That does not make sense. If it is dark and a swimmer or surfer is lost at sea, even HFD wouod not be effective in trying to search and find a lost swimmer/surfer/diver in the dark. Therefore search and rescue near shore would be responsibility of the lifeguard first. Username1 asks the legitimate question, why is HFD allowing firefighters in open ocean training scenarios that are so ‘dangerous’ that a firefigher might end up losing his life in a open ocean training execrcise? 5 to 8 ft south shore waves are not small but that should be nothing to EXPERIENCED City lifeguard water rescue who can deal with 20 plus North shore swells. This accident reminds me of how an HPD motorcycle officer died in a ‘training exercise’ while practicing VIP motorcade detail where HPD motorcycle officers ride ridculuously fast on city streets only for the purpose of helping direct motorcade traffic. In that case very questionable the person in charge to require his officer to ride so recklessly in just a practice exercise.

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