Public safety officials, medics train

Dave La Fave (first photo), a fire chief at Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue in Kelso, Wash., instructs a group of about 30 people including (second photo) Battalion Chief Rick Kawasaki Thursday at the Kahului Fire Station. The weeklong exercise brought fire officials across the nation to the Valley Isle to train Maui personnel from eight different agencies as a “Type 3 Incident Management Team.” The standing unit includes firefighters, police officers, medics and other first responders. They are taught to create an action plan during disasters and other situations. “The key point about these teams is that they are developed for Maui County,” said David Thyne, assistant chief of Support Services for the Maui Fire Department. “But the true responsibility is if we have an incident, such as a natural disaster, in another area these teams can go to assist them.” Maui Fire Department personnel lead the exercise that ends today. The program started in 2011 and has trained about 200 men and women.