The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) provided the media with data regarding land and ocean rescue incidents the HFD responded to so far in 2021. In the past few months, an increase of hiking rescue calls has been observed.

There are 63 HFD units across Oʻahu, which are staffed with hardworking fire fighters who respond each time an emergency call is received, regardless of the location or circumstances. For each platoon or watch, there are approximately 330 fire fighters on duty.

“The HFD is an all-hazards emergency response Department. The fire fighters who serve with me take each 911 call very seriously,” said rescue Fire Captain Blake Takahashi.

According to the data, from January 1 to June 22, 2021, the HFD responded to the following 348 land and ocean rescues.
170 high-angle
33 searches for person on land
36 searches for person in water
49 swimming or recreational water area rescues
26 surf
34 watercraft

The data also shows that 39 % of the 348 rescue incidents involved residents and 42 % involved visitors.

“Our motto is provide for a safer community through prevention, preparedness, and effective emergency response,” said rescue Fire Captain Clifford Kalaʻi Miller. “That’s our job. We respond, locate and bring to safety whoever may be lost or injured.”

Regardless of whether you are a resident or a visitor, the HFD urges the public to practice common sense before venturing outdoors to avoid endangering themselves or others and possibly becoming another rescue statistic.

“Be mindful of the elements like the changing weather or when it might be too dark,” said Senior Fire Helicopter Pilot Dustin Harris. “As pilots, it’s vital to take many factors into account when we fly over the island searching for lost or injured individuals.”

Basic safety tips include the following:
 Bring a cell phone with a full battery
 Bring water and stay hydrated
 Keep track of time to avoid hiking at night
 Do not rely on social media for excursion planning