HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi joined the Honolulu Fire Commission to announce the selection of the 35th Fire Chief of the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD).

Mayor Blangiardi said he could not be any happier with Fire Chief Sheldon K. Hao’s selection.

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“I got the bar set really high of my expectations for him,” said Blangiardi. “I know where his heart lies.”

HFC Chair Charlotte Nekota also spoke highly of Hao at the conference.

“We are really happy to have Chief Hao here,” said Nekota. “I will echo what the mayor said. Chief Hao is a really good man — a good leader. I look forward to seeing you for a long time.”

According to the Hawaii Fire Fighter Association, Hao was selected by the association after he received a six to zero vote.

“Very excited, new chapter in my life,” Hao said. ” I understand the responsibilities that come with this role and I fully embrace it. I watched firefighters go out there in the community every day and risk their lives. They truly inspire me. I just want to do my part and make sure they get home to their families. I want to keep doing my part with the objective to leave the department better than when we found it.”

Hao has been working with the department for 26 years and Acting Fire Chief Lionel Camara is expected to retire from HFD on Dec. 30, 2021. Hao will begin his official duties as the new Fire Chief on Jan. 1, 2022.