The Kalihi Uka Fire Station was temporarily shut down on Tuesday after two fire fighters tested positive for COVID-19. So what changes are being made to help prevent the spread? The Kalihi Uka Fire Station, also called Station 32, has been re-opened with fire fighters from other stations. But HFD had to shut it down for cleaning and disinfecting on Tuesday. Now, the department wants to do that for all fire stations.
“It’s an ionizing disinfecting advance technology methods so we have the equipment we trained the personnel to perform the disinfecting procedure,” said Captain Jeffrey Roache, HFD PIO, “it will provide a good baseline and we’ll know each and every station is clean to a particular level.”
While staffing at Kalihi Uka is a special case, the fire union president wants to see fire fighters work within their own stations to stop the potential spread of the virus. Bobby Lee says stations are treated like homes for fire fighters.
“They are not regular offices as we live there and fire fighters should be restricted to work only within their house,” said Lee, “otherwise if you’re going to be sending them to other stations, it’s going to be no different than people in the public going to different houses and defeating the purpose of stay at home.”
HFD says it’s heard those concerns but needs to consider balancing manpower.
“We are definitely trying to minimize that but in the case of emergency response it’s not always going to be that way,” said Roache.
“That’s what happened at station 32. They had to go hunt down a few other fire fighters that had worked there for a period of time from other stations that came into Station 32 so now you got to be concerned that the stations those guys came from hopefully there was no contamination,” said Lee.