When a U.S. sailor opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii on December 4, several members of the Federal Fire Fighters of Hawaii Local F-263 responded with assistance from Hawaiian Islands Local 1463 members.
“I am relieved to hear that our members responding to this tragic incident were unharmed,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “District Vice President Jim Johnson and I have advised our members there that the International is ready to provide membership assistance as needed.”
“I am proud of the professionalism and dedication to duty our members displayed as they responded to this dangerous incident,” says Local F-263 President Reid Shimabukuro. “We were fortunate to be in a position to respond with full staffing during this incredibly dangerous incident.”
Local F-263 members would have normally responded with three per apparatus due to department-wide budget cuts. However, more IAFF members than usual were at the military facility that morning participating in a ship fire drill. Members had completed the drill but were participating in an after-action review when the call came in about the shooter.
“The U.S. Navy established an active shooter policy after the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shooting left 12 people dead,” says 16th District Vice President Johnson. “Our Hawaii members have an annual active shooter drill that trains them to go in when the scene is secure. This is the first time our members have had to use this training.”
Preliminary reports indicate that U.S. Sailor Gabriel Romero was having behavioral health issues but was in counseling prior to the incident. That morning, Romero used his service weapons to shoot two Department of Defense workers before shooting himself.