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Fire chief to retire July 1

David Thyne joined MFD in 1987 as part of first recruit class

Maui Fire Department Chief David Thyne announced recently that he will retire July 1. MFD photo

After rising through the ranks at the Maui Fire Department during a more than 33-year career, Fire Chief David Thyne is retiring.

He announced his retirement, effective July 1, at a Fire & Public Safety Commission meeting Thursday, said commission Chairman Kyle Ginoza.

“He did an exemplary job for the county,” Ginoza said Friday. “What I appreciated was his openness and willingness to share with the commission different aspects of the department.”

Under Thyne, Fire Department employees would give presentations about their sections at commission meetings.

“It was really an educational experience to have different people through the ranks present to us, show how much they know about their sections,” Ginoza said. “It’s nice to see that with his leadership, he’s able to help his people grow.”

Thyne led the department through one of the most active wildfire seasons in 2019 when 25,000 acres burned for a fivefold increase over the previous year.

As administrative head of the department, Thyne also was committed to securing equipment and funding for the Fire Department.

“He was well versed in how to navigate the county system as well as dealing with the community,” Ginoza said. “That was definitely a big plus for the department as well, that there was somebody experienced that went through the different budget processes and was able to communicate with the council really well. I just was appreciative that Chief Thyne was really able to maintain a good relationship.”

Thyne joined the Fire Department on Sept. 16, 1987, as part of its first recruit class.

He was an assistant chief, first in charge of support services, then in charge of operations, before he was selected as fire chief on Aug. 27, 2018.

“He agreed to the job with the expectation that it would be a few years rather than a decade,” said Ginoza, who was part of the commission that chose Thyne for the top job. “He wanted to ensure that the department was on good standing and he could help accommodate that transition.

“I agree the department is a good department. His leadership has really helped bolster the image with the council as well as the community.”

Ginoza expects the commission to discuss the process for selecting a new chief at its next meeting at 10 a.m. May 20. The meeting will be online through BlueJeans.

People can sign up to testify at the meeting, Ginoza said.

May 16 is the deadline to apply for the job that has a starting salary of $158,851.

Candidates must have at least five years’ experience in fire control, including at least three years in an administrative capacity. Applicants also must be U.S. citizens and residents of the state for at least one year before appointment.

Applications, including a cover letter, resume, training certificates and diplomas, and letters of recommendation can be mailed to: Department of Fire & Public Safety; Attn: Commission Secretary Richelle Wakamatsu; 200 Dairy Road; Kahului 96732.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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