Daniel R. Sayre Foundation donates fire truck for Waimea and South Kohala area

  • Courtesy photo This Howe and Howe’s 4x4 Bulldog Fire Truck will be gifted to the Waimea Fire Station on Saturday.

Through the years, the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation has donated ATVs, lifeguard PA systems, jaws of life, Billy Pugh nets and all kinds of other life-saving equipment.

Now it’s donating a fire truck.

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The 4×4, 1,250-gallon tanker will be assigned to Waimea and South Kohala area, joining a similar tanker the Hawaii Fire Department acquired a few years ago. The new “Bulldog” tanker, valued at $310,000, is equipped with water and firefighting foam capabilities and is built to meet National Fire Protection Association Standards, the fire department said.

The department is currently evaluating whether to station the tanker in Waimea or South Kohala. It also will be sent out as needed in West Hawaii.

“It’s designed for wildland firefighting. … Our typical tanker apparatus have to stay on the road,” said assistant fire chief for emergency operations Darwin Okinaka on Tuesday. “That’s the benefit of this.”

Okinaka said the truck is especially needed in light of the current El Nino weather cycle, with hotter, drier conditions and more chance of brush fires.

A public gifting ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Waimea Fire Station. The County Council is scheduled to take up Resolution 207, accepting the donation, during its 9 a.m. meeting Tuesday in Hilo.

The Sayre Foundation is a nonprofit foundation formed more than 21 years ago by Dr. Frank Sayre and Laura Mallery-Sayre after their son, Danny, fell to his death in Pololu Valley.

The Sayres discovered the Hawaii Fire Department faced a critical shortage of equipment and training needed to do their jobs safely and effectively.

“They’re an awesome group, an awesome foundation. They’ve assisted our department beyond words,” Okinaka said. “The work they’ve done for us is unbelievable. We’re just so thankful for the Sayres and those donate to them.”

North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff echoed Okinaka’s sentiments.

“I would like to say mahalo a nui loa to the Sayre Foundation for this awesome contribution to the fire department,” Eoff said. “It provides West Hawaii with important fire fighting apparatus and is deeply appreciated.”

The new tanker truck was made possible through an anonymous North Hawaii resident who donated the sum for it after their property was saved during last year’s 18,000-acre Waikoloa brush fire.

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Since it was created, the foundation has raised more than $3.5 million.

Email Nancy Cook Lauer at ncook-lauer@westhawaiitoday.com.

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