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Former battalion chief to lead Maui Emergency Management Agency

Amos Lonokailua-Hewett served for 25 years with the Maui Fire Department

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

MAUI, Hawaii — The Maui Emergency Management Agency has a new administrator effective today.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency has a new administrator effective today.

Amos Lonokailua-Hewett will take over the agency with 25 years of service with the Maui Fire Department before retiring in 2019 as a battalion chief, the county said in a news release.

“Amos is deeply committed to our community’s well-being. His extensive history with the Maui Fire Department and the emergency management profession, combined with his experience with our Maui County emergency operating center will contribute greatly to strengthening our emergency management efforts. Our County will benefit from his leadership, expertise and professionalism. I look forward to having him return to public service as a key member of our team, " said Mayor Richard Bissen in the announcement.

Previous Maui Emergency Management Agency Administrator Herman Andaya resigned Aug. 17 in the days following the devastating wildfires that killed at least 100 residents in Lahaina.

Andaya had come under heavy criticism, and international media attention, when he said he did not regret the decision to not activate warning sirens during the Aug. 8 catastrophe.

Andaya, who said sirens weren’t used because they are primarily used for tsunamis and not brush fires, cited health reasons for his resignation as criticism of the agency’s handling of the disaster mounted.

In its announcement about Lonokailua-Hewett, the county said the former head of the MFD training division established the Fire Ground Operations program developing the “live fire " program. He was the first instructor in the state’s Blue Card program, which provides incident command and control certification for fire officers, and also was lead instructor for various professional firefighter certifications, according to the news release.

Lonokailua-Hewett holds a bachelor’s degree in fire administration and received a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on emergency services management from Columbia Southern University.

“Born on Oahu and raised on Maui, Lonokailua-Hewett is currently president of Waihona Emergency &Training Consultants LLC. He has practiced hula for 32 years and formally and traditionally graduated (uniki ) under Loea Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett in 2008 and is fluent in the Hawaiian language, " the announcement said.

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