HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Maui County community and first responders continue to mourn the loss of one of their own. Tre Evans-Dumaran’s family confirmed his passing on Saturday, Feb. 4. Maui County officials said the 24-year-old was swept out to sea while responding to emergency calls during flash floods in Kihei.
“It affects everybody, not just Maui Fire Department, but firefighters across the state,” said Robert “Bobby” Lee, Hawaii Fire Fighters Association President. “We’re all one big family.”
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
Now, the State Occupational Safety and Health Division has opened an investigation. The Department said, an inspector will travel to Maui on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
“HIOSH does more detailed investigation, interviewing everybody involved; and they come up with their own determination of what happened and what needs to change,” said Lee.
HIOSH said that inspectors will also investigate what the employer did to prevent the incident from happening. It added that these investigations can result in penalties or monetary citations.
The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association said that there have been incidents in the past that sparked operational change following the results of investigations.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, between 2012 and 2020, there were three on-duty firefighter fatalities in Hawaii. In 2016, the death of veteran Honolulu firefighter, Clifford Rigsbee, during rescue watercraft training off Diamond Head resulted in changes to training.
“Following that, we made sure during training events one jet ski wasn’t by itself; and we always had two jet skis on hand. With his situation, no more riding the sleds on the back of the jet ski when they were going out from the beach to wherever they had to go,” Lee said.
The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association said these investigations can take up to a month and the results are important to protect Hawaii’s frontline workers.
Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8
“It’s all about firefighter safety and making sure our firefighters are safe and we don’t lose anybody. Any time you lose somebody, it’s a huge deal,” said Lee.
KHON2 reached out to the Maui Fire Department and are waiting for a response.