Council Passes Resolution Supporting Separate Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Department
The Honolulu City Council approved Wednesday a proposal urging Mayor Rick Blangiardi to create a separate department for the City’s Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services personnel.
Ocean Safety, along with the Emergency Medical Services Division, are currently two divisions of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department.
The measure, titled Resolution 21-122, would create two separate departments. The proposal says it would improve administrative efficiency, effectiveness and economy.
John Titchen, Chief of Ocean Safety, testified at the meeting, "We’re seeing a lot of people look for adventure, look for risk that they haven’t previously looked for. Furthermore, we’re seeing a lot of different kinds of activities that are being pursued by both residents and visitors alike."
"It’s probably pretty important for someone guiding the budget of Ocean Safety to be aware of all the new recreational activities available for those going in the water," he said.
"While I don’t think it is necessary that someone be professional at pipe or a recognized windsurfer, we have a lot of men and women in Ocean Safety who are world-renowned for their skill in the water. The fact of the matter is, all of the medical training in the world is worthless if you cannot get a human body to the beach," he added.
According to the Honolulu Emergency Services Department Director James Ireland, if the Department is able to achieve autonomy, the cost to separate will be $1 million.