KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Fire Station 43 has been in service for months already, but it was officially blessed and unveiled Thursday morning.
The 23,400 square foot facility cost 10.8 million dollars to build. Construction began in June of 2011, and took less than two years to complete.
The result is a state of the art facility. On the grounds, there is an emergency depot, four-story training tower and the firehouse itself.
Station 43 is the first regional station for the HFD. "When we need to get things quicker down to the other end of the island, down by Yokohama Bay, Nanakuli, Waianae, this station can do that" said Mayor Kirk Caldwell, one of many civic leaders in attendance.
Some of the technology the station boasts includes a modern alerting system. "There's a woman's voice that comes on 'oh it's at this address'. She's nice and calm. The other thing is the lights will come on slowly. In the past we'd try to run in the dark and trip over things" said Fire Chief Manuel Neves.
The training tower is a huge advantage as well. "Normally firefighters would have to go into the airport area to get trained. We can do a lot of training here," said Chief Neves.
Also, there is solar water heating, central air conditioning, a fire apparatus exhaust filtration system, an equipment decontamination room and a split layout which keeps equipment away from firefighters.
While Chief Neves touted the technological advancements, he put it all in proper perspective.
"We can have nice stations with a lot of amenities, but the bottom line is these people in blue and white are the ones who make the difference for the department".