Support the Acquisition of Two New Ambulances to Service the City and County of Honolulu

22 02 2018

The Honolulu City Council passed Resolution 17-321 which urges the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) selection committee to allocate CDBG funds to acquire two new ambulances for use in low-and moderate-income communities in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The resolution also asks the City Administration to fund the operation of the ambulances through increased state funding for ambulance services.

Under the State Comprehensive Emergency Medical System the State Department of Health may contract with the county for emergency ambulance services. Currently the City and County of Honolulu contracts with the State to provide its own emergency ambulance services and is reimbursed by the State for the expenses of the ambulance services. The contract also sets the maximum amount of the reimbursement for the contract period as well as the minimum number of ambulance units that must be in service.

According to an October 20, 2017 report produced by Matt Levi Investigates, the Department’s Emergency Medical Services Division (EMS) has only twenty ambulances to respond to emergencies and to transport sick and injured persons to medical facilities for the entire island of Oahu.

With a resident population on Oahu of almost one million and a visitor population annually of over nine million to the State, EMS is not able to adequately or efficiently respond to all calls for services especially when ambulances are needed for calls within and outside of their assigned areas. This includes calls to outside low-and moderate-income communities.

Since the City and County of Honolulu is annually allocated CDBG funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and these funds are for activities benefitting low-and moderate-income persons, the Honolulu City Council urges the City Administration to submit requests for CDBG funding for the two new ambulances to the CDBG and HOME Projects Selection Committee.

The Honolulu City Council also encourages the City Administration to work with the State on the emergency ambulance services contract to increase the maximum reimbursement for ambulance services to cover the operation costs, and personnel costs of the additional ambulances. If the State doesn’t agree to provide additional funding, the City Administration should expend City funds to cover the operational costs of the additional ambulances.

Providing essential services should be a priority when it comes to the health, safety and overall well-being of our communities. Encourage the City Administration to support the acquisition of two new ambulances.





Traffic Alert for Sunset Beach Tomorrow February 15

14 02 2018
Sunset Beach Date Palm Trees

Date Palm Trees at Sunset Beach -Photo Courtesy of the City and County of Honolulu

The City and County of Honolulu will be conducting an emergency removal of seven Date palm trees fronting Sunset Beach Park on Oahu’s North Shore, which will require the closure of the makai lane of Kamehameha Highway for most of the day tomorrow, Thursday, February 15, 2018.

The lane closure is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. between Ke Nui Road and Hoalua Street on Kamehameha Highway.

Tree removal crews with the Department of Parks and Recreation Division of Urban Forestry (DUF) will be working with the Honolulu Police Department to help contra flow traffic around the lane closure. This single-lane closure is expected to have a significant impact to traffic along this corridor.

The decision for the emergency removal of the trees was made by the Certified Arborists at DUF after they determined the continual undermining of the palm trees by erosion made them a hazard to the general public and motorists. Despite the palm trees being located on the makai-side of Kamehameha Highway, compromised palm trees can fall in any direction once there are structurally unsound.

DUF crews plan on removing the top and middle portions of the palms, leaving about four feet of the tree trunks and roots in the ground. This is so the roots of the tree can further help to reduce the impact of the beach erosion, while immediately reducing the potential danger to the public.

Beach erosion at Sunset Beach Park became more severe during the beginning of this winter surf season, when researchers described the large 20-foot drop-off at the beach park as “unprecedented.” In December 2017 several measures were taken to immediately mitigate the erosion damage and protect public facilities. That included removing the Ocean Safety storage shed, relocating the lifeguard stand, relocating the bicycle path, and restricting parking and pedestrian traffic along the eroded areas.

Since that time, some of the sand that was washed away by a series of large northeast swells has returned, but a significant drop-off still remains.

The city, state partners, and researchers are continuing to monitor the situation and take necessary action to keep the public safe. Most recently, staff with the Department of Facility Maintenance removed additional debris from the former bike path on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

The City and County of Honolulu appreciates the community’s understanding as these measures are being done to ensure public safety.