ICC Region I Code Official Spotlight - Chief Todd and Chief Vares' , Hawaii County Fire Department

ICC Region I Code Official Spotlight - Chief Todd and Chief Vares' , Hawaii County Fire Department

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the technology right it that's it's pretty impressive isn't it you know i i'm trying to kind of work on something similar i have problem appointed by a fire commission and trying to work on something something similar like this in the future yes so um so this is uh this is a blue jeans by verizon i i normally do this through facebook live just normally um and so i thought i uh in working with your admin trying to establish something that was more of a uh a virtual meeting platform where i could send the link maybe a little bit sooner and uh yeah i just was able to kind of figure it out today i'm glad that it works for the first time so it shows that it's live so i think we're good so hey welcome to the icc i'm gonna give a little uh a little introduction here but i want to welcome everybody to the international code council region one facebook page region one was established in 2014 and were made up of three states california hawaii and nevada this also includes 32 icc chapters and we have an icc chapter in the state of hawaii we are dedicated to the excellence in education and engagement to promote a safer environment by bringing code officials together this discussion forum was designed to highlight individuals and chapters that make up our region today we have chief todd and chief uh i don't want to mispronounce your last name is it varus it's boris morris sorry i knew i was going to get that wrong one i had a 50 50 chance uh with the hawaii county fire department thank you for joining us if you have any questions for chief todd or chief varus uh please feel free to add them in the comments uh you can add those to our facebook comment page uh you know i want to thank the both of them for joining us today and if you'd like to be a guest in an upcoming uh forum or you know other people that may want to be a guest please send a message and we'll make sure to reach out and contact them so with that welcome to both of you oh thanks for uh for having us uh i you know before we even begin i kind of like to ask how's the weather and why today tough real tough the weather it's difficult difficult and when i look out the window we're suffering suffering in these blue beautiful skies a couple couple clouds i gotta reapply sunscreen yeah the most difficult part about the weather is when it's beautiful outside is when you're working and um when it's raining and farming is usually when you're off uh you know you know much much like the rest of the world we only have uh two seasons which is um rainy or sunny um i've heard of this mysterious thing called winter and other places i've never seen it but i've heard of it yeah no speaking of winter you and i have been you know chief todd you and i have been to the fire academy on a couple different occasions have you ever experienced uh any winter in emmitsburg maryland at the national fire academy that's that's the question i i've been there for a very cold winter and we actually got stranded on the side of the road in the bus on our way back to the airport for like an hour um and uh it was uh not it and of course it had to be a nor'easter where there was a bunch of snow and it took everybody like 24 hours to get home so question have you ever had that experience so uh i actually when i was doing my code prevention related stuff and in inspections i i had taken all the arson related courses with the exception of two at the national fire academy and i saw them in a back to back but it was in january i'm like i could handle this well it'll work and i went up there and by uh wednesday with the weather reports coming in there there was a general outcry within the class that we needed to end the class early um which was a surprise to me but literally campus ended up closing around noon on thursday and i sat there because i got another class the next week and literally watched my classmates please like literally throwing their suitcases half pack clothes out of the trunk just slam in the trunk with the the shorts flapping the breeze as they sped out of campus to try and beat the cold front that was going to come in and dump uh and it it did uh most of the guys never got anywhere they made it to the airport and got stuck there uh yeah it's normal yet and basically there's about three feet of snow that dumped on the campus um i personally at one point i thought i was going to die because when i started walking to the cafeteria i realized if i didn't start running i i would freeze to death before i made it the three or four hundred feet you know down the road and around the corner um because my body's not built to handle that kind of extreme weather but i don't really have any like winter clothing do you have any winter clothing to speak of no one in hawaii has any winter clothing whatsoever i just wore like three sets of slacks and you know all the underwear i personally owned i just kind of i looked uh about 20 pounds heavier because i just wore every layer i owned at the same time uh yeah the same weekend chief was up there i had a class when he left so i came deep because i remember talking with him yeah and um yeah same thing we we got it he got the worst of it but there was i mean for hawaii guy anything on the ground that's wet that's major that's major right that's that's significant anything on the ground that's white that's significant already so it was uh i did the long johns i don't know you do the long john i do have a set of long drums um they don't seem to help i don't know what the deal with that is but um yeah it uh worse yet i was doing um fire investigative stuff we're downrange uh familiar with the campus inside these little concrete ten by tens trying to dig out um the evidence which is now under a layer of you know half an inch of ice and i'm just like how do you how do you even figure out how the fire went you have to wait until spring when it melts and then you can investigate you know what's going on over here yeah yeah no that's one of those things that you know i definitely you know i can definitely sympathize and uh you know draw on that experience as well um so um with that being said yeah like as we mentioned we you and i have been under the fire academy multiple occasions really uh you know taking classes i think you and i have been to both uh you know the two-week fire investigation class and then the interview and interrogation class if i'm not mistaken together so you know so we both we both saw ourselves at the finest uh during that two-week interview interrogation skill uh class uh that was a that was a lot of fun uh i wish we could do that again so definitely you know when we talk about classes after the national fire academy the the interview interrogation class which is one of the best i've taken the um electrical arson class up there also is an amazing thing uh that dave casada is great super super knowledgeable um definitely i i like getting uh grilled by the lawyers because it helped me prep for when i did get my expert testimony qualified uh at a local cave for a segregation lawsuit so definitely an excellent experience yeah absolutely well so speaking of weather i think it's uh hot and uh we don't neces it's probably at least i'll look at my uh little thermometer here it says 94 here in central valley california so it's warm and a little hazy we've got some smoke in the air so speaking of smoking there we've got the dixie fire burning here in the state of california right now along with multiple others uh you you guys also just recently had one of the largest fires in hawaii county can you maybe provide a little bit more information in regards to that fire and maybe the impact that it had uh within your county yeah so um we just had approximately a 40 000 acre fire i actually have all my choppers in the air doing a circuit of the final um outline of the fire so we can get a really good gps uh tracking and we can get a final count on acreage but approximately 40 000 acres uh it is the largest fire that we've ever had in hawaii county and i'm pretty sure the state of hawaii but you gotta understand you know generally the the fire can only go so far before it hits the ocean so it's not like there's a lot of area for it to go to that said uh to give you guys a comparison in size 40 000 acres is about 10 percent of the size of oahu so um on my island you know it is not a small fire for us um part of this fire was basically a result of being a wind-driven fire so normally on friday night when the fire first started we had our dozers out there it looked like we caught it uh and then you know the following morning you know the wind started kicking up the location of the fire between two mountain ranges and it's already a funnel for wind but uh by saturday night the national weather service had been dropping warnings that said that you know we should expect uh potentially gusts the 50 mile an hour plus uh coming through the area and depending on where you are in there it'll exceed that by even even a larger margin so every dozer break we made got blown through uh and it went from i guess four thousand the first night to fourteen thousand to thirty thousand acres and quickly was just um growing rapidly quick and at one point we had a seven mile wide flame front moving across and ended up covering approximately fifty two and a half square miles of area for the total fire area uh we had basically probably on island so it's not like we can drive in more resources or ask for additional help but we pretty much call in every resource we have on the island uh and then reached out to our you know our partners so we have a permanent parking wildlife which is basically the state version of the national park service we also reached out to the national park service of the island and they said we had um firefighters from mali flying over to assist uh we had national guard resources blackhawk helicopters chinooks our own helicopters of which you know our department has too and then we've hired private helicopters um and at the peak of around 27 dozers we're running concurrently to try and encircle the fire which for our island now it's crazy numbers right but i understand you know equivalent fires up in the you know you know not the united states where you have the resources you can bring in they can have three four five times resources on team uh and that's normal but over here this is the the largest thing we've ever seen um luckily most of the area is is very light grasses uh scrub um maybe some small bushes so it runs through quick and then it's done um we don't have you know residual long-term fires and while we do have forests they're on the eastern side of the island which is the rainy side so we generally don't run into issues but it has been a very active season for us uh last night we had uh our eighth brush fire uh that kicked in just uh the other night so it has been uh and that's separate and until so the the mono road which was our forty thousand acre brush car was the sixth breath fire and we're up to eight at the start of the season so far um and varying amounts of acres from you know smaller ones just running a couple hundred to the biggest one right now at forty thousand acres so it's been a been a very active season um and and kind of training the resources here locally that sounds like it yeah yeah um so with that being said uh do you guys do uh prevention wise uh any uh wildland urban interface inspections do you have uh i know that you are a nfpa state so to speak you use the utilize the nf nfpa code for a lot of enforcement are you a firewise community or um do you utilize the icc wildland urban interface code uh to be able to help with some of those mitigation issues so we we haven't adopted adopted the icc wildland urban interface code however we do have a quite a different suit of icc code that we have adopted as far as like building code energy code and others um our nfpa one as far as the fire code why we did that on the state level it's hard to say it makes it a little bit complicated when we switch from building to fire we have to have a document to explain which one president in which um but we actually have uh several uh organizations on the island that are private you know 501 c trees on one of which is the hawaii wildfire management organization they've actually just managed to manage things throughout the pacific rim but uh island and do a lot of the help um to push some of the community driven uh wildland urban interface uh so like right now they're working with um the uh i guess assessment of the burn area for potential runoff issues um international service that runs under brick but it's basically not national lands or federal land so it's being done uh independently for our universities got some people out there and they're doing assessments through hawaii wildfire but they also do um kind of the mitigation through firewise so out of the state of hawaii there's 10 firewise communities eight are on our island most of the firewise or most of the wildland urban interfaces on our island where the the least um metro as far as uh you know our urban as far as the state goes um and the most spread out uh the big island county of hawaii on the big island half of the landmass of the state uh but we are actually on the low end in terms of population cell um where we're spread out very widely over the the whole island um about 1 000 square miles total and 200 000 residents so is that um the population density is that due to kind of the topography of the island or is uh i guess i'm not as familiar so are there other challenges that may lead to that um it sounds like you're probably going to have some of that populations spread out throughout the area that may lead to challenges especially with emergency response you know with the wildland fires and those types of things so well you know i i think as for the way it's situated or the way um our island you would say operates a lot of it has to do with infrastructure right we do have very large um more or less um what you could say large areas of communities large communities with no water no actual paved roads right a lot of these infrastructure is not there so if you're talking about you know building strip mall building this building that infrastructure is not there to support it so a lot of times you know we don't you know if you have a street of 10 houses and you want to run electricity of course it becomes cheaper because we all split the cost but if you got you know two houses you know in hundreds of acres only got two houses where you're not gonna get electricity you're not gonna get a road not getting water but we experienced i think a lot of that um you know me and chief pod you know of course we're super young look at us right so you know a lot of this was put in before we were wearing these type of shirts and we were sitting in the seats um so i think you know it's it's a lot and it's some of the challenges that we do with planning right so decisions that planning had made maybe in the past agricultural areas that are not residential areas someone had a great idea um meeting our minds and they sat down and said hey you know what would be a great idea is to make subdivisions out in this nowhere place um and then you know we you know developers probably talk to our local government and you know they had great ideas and then you know some of that um you know we kind of pay as a party partner we're kind of we pay that the price now right because in these areas there's no infrastructure no this there's no that so if you want to build a strip mall out of these rural areas it's difficult right because there's no infrastructure so i think the infrastructure side of it does play a huge role but the cost to developing these areas is not easy um because there's not enough people there density likes to strip a car yeah so to give you a little bit of background historically the big island was uh through agricultural in the sugarcane industries and so lots of little towns spaced very very far apart eventually grew into town centers you know but uh because they're straight so far apart you know a lot of money goes into just maintaining the road structure around the islands people can get uh from one area to another there's more infrastructure that goes in on our island than most towns have to deal with there's more parks because everyone's spread out you know there's more road maintenance that has to go in when you stretch electrical lines i've got to go farther so there's just not enough money to go around and then so because of that there's a variety of challenges that have come up because of just the historical way the island developed uh this wasn't like we sat down 300 years ago and put together a really good planning code to figure out how this was going to work you know 300 years ago it was more you know everything just naturally and organically grew and then nowadays we're sitting here going you know we have a subdivision down in the southern point in the island that can type one lava zone which means that if the mountain blows up literally an hour later there'll be lava coming through homes uh that has limited electricity in some locations no water um and it's 50 square miles of subdivision with you know thousands and thousands of residents uh nowhere with one fire station one fire truck one abdomen so uh it is a is a fascinating challenge yeah you know and i you that was actually one of my questions i was gonna ask you know as we as we talk about challenges within our given jurisdictions volcanic tourism related uh water access all of those things it sounds like you guys are are dealing with them i would say probably the volcanic activity is probably the most unique that many of us on the mainland don't necessarily experience we have some seismic things i'm sure you guys also too have some seismic issues that you have to be prepared for are there any other unique challenges i mean as we look at it as you mentioned community spread out uh access and you know dead end access and water supplies are there um no infrastructure put in place to be able to connect to hydrants so how do you really mitigate those things um one on the response side but then to maybe retroactive requirements to be able to improve those areas as well so uh definitely you know hawaii kind of unique for i think the number one county in the terms of the types of disasters that we can be affected by in this united states wow uh so we got a couple number ones uh we're the only island where you can have a blizzard uh tsunami an earthquake uh and lava on the same day um it's entirely possible um and we back in 2018 lost 700 homes to lava yeah i spent way way way too much time working the eoc during the nine months or something like that that we were activated uh it is not much fun um yeah yeah it's because unlike a tsunami or hurricane or stuff like that you know you're gonna have your response and then you're going to deal with the issue and then you're going to clean up and then at some point you can stop but with a lot of a lot of work on geological time active for 20 years in a row you know and as long as there's potentially houses in the way or things like that you got to be running a 24 7 operation to keep an eye on things and then there's been a lot of difficulties with that because our mayor had said hey if there's people that have homes and the home government come over by lava they should be allowed to go back to their homes um we don't know where the lava's gonna go next and so we're having to monitor the lava and then as soon as it blew up and then we had one particular incident where uh residents ended up getting trapped between you know the flow and then a new option that cut off their community and you know i was working in the eoc that day we're trying to coordinate with toppers and people calling 9-1-1 and where they were to pick them up off the road so that we can evacuate them because there's no exit anymore because they're now inside what we call a hole between basically two lava flows and then there's you know i don't know maybe 20 residents at the time that were stuck inside there and we had the chocolate everyone out as their homes you know basically get covered and when you think of lava if you're thinking oh there's this you know creeping red stuff on the ground but you know you don't realize like um that creeping stuff in the ground can be 50 people it's literally a wall um that just starts coming down and nothing there's no stopping it there's nothing you can do um there's no dynamite in the world that's gonna change the course or anything like that so how do you plan for something like that then i mean in a sense of if you're doing emergency planning and trying to develop an emergency operations plan should those things happen how do you really plan for something that that's unpredictable that uh you know as as you mentioned it moves on geological time so how do you really even plan for something like that to be able to ensure you can get people out safely you know i'd like to say that you you can have a plan but we don't know where the law is going to come out next you know um we can't tell you when it's going to come out how long it's going to last what direction that's going to flow in we have a lot of topography maps so we can kind of see where it's most likely to go but um it doesn't come up in only one spot and then you figure out oh where's the the low end low land area that will travel it'll pop up eight nine ten different locations and every one of them is gonna go in a different direction and um yeah uh it is it's something that's difficult yeah i mean you know as chief thought said i mean where where he's describing we're building strip malls now right this this wasn't you know 100 years ago we started quickly you know building again so it's and again that's not you know we don't make those decisions right someone um in our government allows that building to occur so i think we just as a team we've got to be ready yeah and we're kind of dealing with a lot with that encounter in the sense of uh building wildland urban factories and trying to figure out um should those things go um where they're you know potentially going to be impacted by a uh you know a wild land fire um we're currently reviewing our title 14 regulations that um are separate from you know uh from our enforcement of the code and so in that we we involve a lot more planners and those types of things to be able to help identify some of those locations and as fire code officials obviously we try to do what we can to be able to maybe urge them to uh look at some of these you know points of access and water supply issues and and those things it sounds like you guys are trying to do the same thing a lot of times the you know code enforcement's the sum of many parts and so you know hopefully you can get more people on board so i guess that leads me into another question is how do you guys work on build oh sorry chief you were gonna say something yeah you know i wanted to throw out something interesting when we talk about design and one of the things that's always kind of mystified me about america on a whole we let you people build homes um but we haven't really changed phones like we've gotten rid of shakespearean goal for the most part you know um but we continue to let people build regular homes out in the middle of the guava and urban interfaces um and um i'm a huge fan of architecture and design and also code development and stuff like that but one of the things that fascinates me is i often go up to japan and and one of the things i've always wanted is why why am i not following some of the countries out there that are doing a better job uh japan is a super urban interface they've run through huge conflagrations in the past they've run into problems with earthquakes and whatever uh and so they have some of the most stringent codes in the world and obviously a california concept that makes things really expensive sometimes but for whatever reason uh the houses in japan are not particularly expensive comparative to you know hawaii because i i asked you know while i'm up there well how much would it cost to build a house like that but one of the things that blew my mind is like one of the companies that i've been up and i went and inspected their homes and things like that design's a home that it's sitting 4 to 12 inches away from your neighbor's house because that's how close houses are in japan that like i'm like you got to get between those you're going to need a really skinny guy to go and fix whatever's in there he's going to he's going to be like who is that guy because that is a lot of difficult work and maybe some claustrophobia issues right but um you know we're we're up there we're checking out these homes and home is designed to let your neighbor's house burn for two hours next to it and be fine uh they they they have an exterior aerated concrete type of um tile system that has a design for two thousand degrees flames for two hours resist heat and transitioning into the structure they're built with c-channel i-beam or i-beam type of steel structure about four inches or so um designed to withstand a 6.5 richter scale earthquake directly below the home with your neighbor's house falling on your home is entirely fine they're built with actually weight systems inside the walls outer weight uh literally like a mega we have a you know cross sectional wall you can see and there's just basically a weight system that has designed the pendulum swing outer earth movement uh and maybe the house stability during the middle of an earthquake they can build your house in a single day like literally they build them factories they truck them out as long as the concrete has time to accurately throughout the house the house three-star house can go open one day uh and uh withstand hurricane tommy earthquake and your neighbors houses burning all around like we're talking five homes and then see around your house all burned down to the ground and uh and so when i look at japan and the technology that i've been creating and continues i gotta wonder why america you know is so far behind the curve you know because it's not like this is rocket sciences people are doing things that are impressive and would potentially save lives save infrastructure safe homes and allow us to build so i guess that would be a question that i would have is uh how do you guys engage in code development you know seeing those things because you guys are really on the leading edge of of the country in the sense of you're kind of the bridge between us and and the you know the asian rim or the pacific asian rim kind of area so how do you you know involve get involved in code enforcement maybe shape the codes to include some of those technologies we're not including any of those technologies so we're still running we'll call the american codes here it's more of just a factor of going over and saying hey there is something better out there why aren't we adopting it you know but as of so far even even locally um we're just trying to keep up with our local cold cycles yeah and i think again we you know i think we are uh in the process of adopting a new uh barcode uh as day one um but we are you know i think a big thing as we discussed earlier is looking at the experiences that we have now right you know we have huge hotels with no access right we have no medical call we have an extrication time you know 15 20 minutes besides our response time i mean it's a nightmare right so and why why is it like that well you know it's because whether it be a lack of knowledge at the time from prevention or is it lack of enforcement you know different reasons again you weren't in these seats but now moving forward how do we not have that again how does right our fire department succeed 30 years from now how do they not have these issues where you have a typical um you know single-family dwelling and we have our resources staying there all night fighting this fire because there's no water because we're running a water shuttle operation so i think our code now we're trying to get to a point where we don't experience that again where we hope that you know the guys that when we're gone when i'm gone and out of here they say well we thank you know defend chief todd and those guys for doing a good job and getting us tools who succeed right and then we just want to make sure that we give our guidance to succeed so i think on a smaller scale baby steps you know hopefully one day we can uh you know get more advanced but you know first of all get to a plate where we can even get to where we're gonna get to to do our job right that's right let's do that first so i think that's been a lot of our focus and making sure you know our personnel that are doing this that our prevention personnel are looking at these things we're making sure that we're implementing it on our newer project so then how do you guys build partnerships with like your planning departments and building departments to maybe avoid those things from occurring in the future i know that we i work real closely with a lot of my building departments and planning departments it's really like i mentioned before the sum of many parts so how do you guys really make that build those relationships and in that collaborative effort to avoid uh maybe uh hotels large multi-story hotels going in with no access water supply and those types of things well i guess the first thing is they're not building any new hotels so that you know it's it's more you know trying to deal with the existing ones that when they built and didn't consider fire after pro didn't consider a lot of things you know um and generally i guess it comes back to the relationships we we do have you know annual conferences here you know lawyer tackle where we'll go out and meet a professional from other islands as well but we have a pretty good working relationship with our local planning department our local building department and all other people that do plan review we were doing joint plan review down in a final review room where you just see all the other departments uh however we're switching to the epic system that allows through digital plan review and that way the single set of plans isn't being you know held up because one person is working on it and no one else can look at it while they're working on it so we'll be able to do a current review and hopefully speed up the planning review process here locally um i i guess it's nice and all to talk about working with others but it's mostly you gotta get up you gotta go walk next door and you gotta build that relationship um and you know once they understand where we come from and you understand where they're coming from we can have those meetings to represent each other's views and move forward to achieve a better or holistic picture for the safety of the community but it still allow for things to get built and and for progress we look forward and the economy to grow okay well yeah go ahead i'm sorry go ahead like the chief said i mean i i feel like you know working in prevention i feel very fortunate actually that we have um such a good relationship with um our other partners whether it be from building to the liquor department planning and you know all of these different you know a lot of their uh permitting processes we're involved with those um and what if we found to be very effective i think at the fire department we approach a lot of these challenges with um leadership right and we we see the issue now this is not a problem we're gonna drop on your desk but let's go together and let's let's resolve this and i think uh you know whether it be building or planning or whoever it is when we're approaching it like that we get a great response right they don't feel like we're passing on work but you know we're part of the solution right and i think they're joining the team right we're on the team it's not a this is your thing then you take care of this it doesn't go well but so we're very fortunate i feel very fortunate to have great partners in the column you know it might be a benefit that you know we're stuck on an island um we know there's no one else out there to deal with stuff and then we don't you got to figure it out and so the state agency the federal agencies the county um we actually work together very well for the most part you know and i think there's something to be said for being stuck with everyone else just kind of like it's like well that'll work so we got to figure it out yeah well and you mentioned uh moving to electronic planner view and electronic permitting electronic permitting system i know a lot of agencies have moved to that especially in response to covet 19 and and you know being shut down and trying to be able to maintain those um at least those workflows especially with many of us working remotely i'm working remotely today because of a covet exposure uh earlier this week so um it you know just trying you know being able to still kind of facilitate the work that you still have to do but also meeting the needs of customers so in addition to that electronic permitting system and electronic plan reviews what additional technology features have you guys implemented to address uh you know some of those challenges with covet 19. um so i know for our our office um one thing that we've gotten you know our island is so big so we have east hawaii in west hawaii so if we want to have a meeting or something like that before we would have to drive at least two hours um to get to the other side and have the meeting and drive large back so that would kind of encompass the whole day so one technology is of course this we've been taking advantage of that and that's kind of for me in our department the prevention bureau has really brought us more together because it's more of an opportunity to me there's no excuse right it's easy to jump on early in the morning uh and do that um it's also i think for us in prevention holbit has actually given us a chance to be um good guys and i say that because we're always i mean we're firefighters at heart right we help people and and right it's a change right to go out and tell people you gotta fix this fix that but during covenant you know we kind of switched our focus to more um assisting the community and keeping them safe we always do that but this was more it became more educational um everything was educational because everybody got shut down nobody was open so when they did open we're trying to assist them on how they could open um helping them with the governor's requirements mass wearing social distancing how we're going to do that how we're going to implement them opening so i you almost felt a sense of you know we were out there again just assisting people uh and then when they're ready open you know where's their fire protection systems up and running with all of this stuff working so i think that was a great opportunity um like i said to feel that that kind of assistance in the community and then our public ed you know we had great programs that we used to do that involved meeting with people right smoking going in elderly halls and we weren't doing that anymore so i think the the pandemic is has caused different avenues of public health we did a um educational videos and things like that long-lasting um much more people um so i think you know the pandemic although challenging has taught us a lot i know for prevention you know yeah you know even on the state level uh there's certain rules called the sunshine law here in hawaii um which basically requires that any meeting of politicians or other things more than two of them at a time requires like public notice so people can come and stare at them to make sure they're not doing anything applies to any commissions or meetings or anything like that uh and so you know for me it's been a whereas it sounds kind of a boon because a lot of our meetings used to be like we'd have to fly to another island right so you're waking up at 4 or 5 a.m to make it to the flight to be at the airport for an hour to fly to honolulu to fight traffic for an hour to arrive at a meeting and hang out there for two two and a half hours and then repeat the process and come home at five or six in the evening uh and that's your whole day right just to attempt a meeting but the requirement in the past have been you know everything has to be in person and everyone is open opened public and things like that and so the governor had um suspended some of the rulings and allowed for remote meetings and i think uh after his latest proclamation we're not going to go back so it'll allow us as a whole within our agencies within our politicians and our committees can meet virtually and allow people to join uh as long as we're you know using the newer technologies so it's forced some changes in how we do business uh and how we look at things but it's kind of a benefit it's a lot easier to you know close the door in my office and sit in for two hour meeting than it would have been to move my entire day to fly off for a meeting you know which clear even may not have even been all that important from a meeting that day right so uh definitely a time saver and some progress is finally coming forward that legally has been a little difficult to do uh in the past so i i do like the some of the outcomes even though there's other problems that have obviously come with public racing yeah and you know you talk about virtual meetings i like i'm i've never been to hawaii so this at least gives me a chance to visit with you too uh you know through this virtual meeting platform so uh someday i do wish to go um i keep saying i keep telling my wife that we're gonna go but we just haven't quite made it out there yet so she's probably gonna watch this and she's gonna hold me to it uh uh but one of these days and maybe when kovid starts to wane a bit more maybe we can start examining that i had a friend that uh flew out there right at the very beginning of the pandemic and uh he ended up contracting kovid in the midst of travel so he is so i'm gonna try to use that as my excuse to not necessarily book my flights right now uh and then maybe soon but you're right virtual meetings are i mean it allows me to go to city council meetings late at night especially when they run you know 12 1 o'clock in the morning i can do it from you know i can do it from my home and still be informed on what is going on uh and then also too i know that for our uh so we're a joint powers authority and being a joint powers authority we have two member agencies we have a rural fire district and a city and through that we're able to broadcast our meetings uh through a platform called go to meeting and it allows us to be able to engage more and and with this meeting i'm able to stream it through facebook um we're on a different platform so there are a lot of different things that i know a lot of other jurisdictions have also engaged in uh uh virtual inspections i have not necessarily tried it but i do have some staff that we're looking at potentially doing that for some of the smaller the uh maybe minor fire code violations to be able to verify compliance i think that that might also is as you mentioned the two hour uh drive maybe to other parts of the island maybe a virtual inspection uh through facetime or google duo or something like that might help uh at least verify compliancy and and if they're all trade-offs right you can't actually put eyes on it and so those are some of those things that definitely lead to challenges so i can definitely i i can agree with you on on all those fronts so but um well i really appreciate your time i know you guys have to go here very shortly so but i want to i want to close with a question um and i think that um you know i've had these things throughout my career but we all take different paths throughout our career um can you think of any notable experiences that have shaped your perspective on code enforcement um either like i talked with robert marshall from san mateo consolidated uh fire uh fire department a couple weeks ago and he talks about the you know some large-scale fires that he had been on that really helped shape his um thoughts and and code enforcement perspective especially as it relates back to single family dwelling so is there anything that you guys can think of that may have shaped your uh your your belief or not belief but maybe your perspective on code enforcement you know um personally i i think the the study of code enforcement you know as far as firefighting enforcement everything else could start with historical fires in america you know triangle shirtless factory iroquois you know um station nightclub i you know um i i was in prevention before i became the fire chief uh before i had you know italian chief back in my earlier career and kyle had been one of the guys who came in and it's a lot of things i'd always you know taught them was you know why did we change the code a lot of these you know things get pushed and let's be honest you know most of the code is built on the concept of this this rule is in there to stop people from dying you know like we didn't put rules in there just to make rules most of these things were you know like these people died in this particular incident what kind of a procedure of policy of a rule that could we make that would prevent that from happening in the future you know the entire code's like that but you know being able to study the historical events and look at that and then figure out you know oh this is why we changed it so exit doors have to open in the way of travel you know this is why we say you can't block an exit this is why a fire extinguisher needs to be you know every 50 feet in these kind of facilities or this is why you need a sprinkler system um convincing you know residences you know residential people and cold uh you know builders and things like that that you know we should put residential sprinklers is something we haven't been able to get the local people to adopt quite yet uh but definitely something we're we're shooting for in the long run right um and definitely you know i gotta say you know the national fire academy has been a big thing for my you know development in terms of where i want to go and what i was where i wanted to achieve within our department uh i've been up for 13 courses up there uh and it's been the the connections i've made with guys like yourself and having those conversations maybe not so much in the class because the class could have been for something like investigation but you know talking with guys about how their jurisdictions are dealing with things making those connections and being able to shoot out emails and saying hey you know um what are you guys doing about that the international association of firefighters which i belong to um i'm kind of active on the forums and so when i run into history to see you know like hey what are your jurisdictions doing about gis tracking or you know what how do you deal with mapping or how do you attract bulldozers or you know whatever it is you know you can easily shoot a question and you'll get a bunch of people replying back to you about like hey we're using this product are we using this solution and um so i gotta say you know the biggest influence in my career has been the people i work with you know the guys i meet like yourself with the national fire academy and being able to pull those people for their opinions and what are their jurisdictions doing and sharing that information if you you know work in a silo by yourself all you're going to see is metal walls natural world you know you need to get out of the well you need to go talk with the guys around you you got to make those connections and the national fire cam is a great way to do it and there's also some associations out there nfpa icc um you know iafc and things like that that you know you be a member you know get out there and start participating and that will that will shape where you want to go and what you want to achieve because you'll be able to see how it affects other places beside [Laughter] yeah i should open for the the closer um you know i think for me you know it's crappy situation right i hate to see it that way but it's those times when um you know as a firefighter um going through a fire and you know wondering like why why are we here all night what what's going on why are we doing this watershed why am i filling up at this now why do i have to go two miles to get water you know what why am i doing this and then from there my transition to coming into prevention and then being on the invested in the on the technical side investigation side and looking you know what there's places that it's not like this right there is um this is not you know as a firefighter you just kind of go like man this is how why is it always fully involved why is it always a big black square why are we not saving these things right and then going and coming into fire the fire investigation side and the cold side you realize well it's because we got no access we got no water this thing is not unpermitted we got no drywall in there single i mean just on and on and on right so that really made me feel and then getting to know the next level from there is getting into plan review and realizing that oh my gosh we have an opportunity to actually change this going forward you know i can affect to get better outcomes so firefighters can like i always say you know be heroes we want to be heroes we want to get there we want to save you you know want to save not contain it to your bedroom and you know we want to do that we don't want the big black square on the ground um so you know i think it's those opportunities to me you know i look at my friends that are out online and i wanna i want to give them all the tools and i know their kids are coming in we got friends that their kids are in our department and i think now one day this guy's going to be a captain i wanted him to be able to succeed you know the next time they have the next biggest wildfire that we get right because it's going to happen you know those guys you know whatever challenges that we had like this i hope that you know our learning and our thinking not just you know five ten years but really the 30-year idea in the 40 years so it's really i think you know as she saw definitely you know our our partners you know working together i've worked the chief was my captain at one time but it's those experiences to me that really highlighted that that kind of progression like okay we're doing this and then well why are we doing this and then wait a minute we can change this uh and that's been for me um some of the big things so um yeah not as elegant as a chief but uh that's really my kind of um those are yeah well i i'd have to agree with that and i think that the percep like you mentioned perspective uh you have all the perspective um through those experiences to be able to articulate um you know should you be pressed by a contractor should you be pressed by a developer to be able to discuss uh those things and that's one of those things that i i will say that it's helped me a lot too as you mentioned making sure to be able to protect your uh you know protect the firefighters that are on shift and you make things a little bit easier for them but also to be the hero i like that expression to be the hero to be able to save the property so that way hopefully we can have a long-term impact uh for those residents uh i agree 100 i think that's a great idea awesome yeah all right well i think you guys are starting to freeze up on me the technology's great when it works but so uh let me check the facebook page just to see uh doesn't look like i have any questions uh anything else you guys would like to add that's pretty much it uh you know definitely film stay in touch you know and if you do make it up to hawaii let us know we'll be glad to give you a tour of our department and and uh all we apply our codes over here as well as you know maybe a few nice beaches or something like that on the restaurant or two but uh anyway uh we appreciate the opportunity to talk and then if you need to let us know i will and you know what i may see if it's in the icc region one budget maybe they'll fly me out there to see you guys so that way i can get first-hand uh a first-hand uh look at all of these things that we just talked about i don't know if it'll be in the budget but uh i'll at least present that in our next uh you know board meeting yeah the film is that totally required i totally need to do it right all right sounds good all right thanks guys i really appreciate your time i hope you guys have a good rest of your day

2021-08-14 09:03

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