The Discovery Harbour Volunteer Fire Department operates under the direction of the Hawaii County Fire Department and is designated as Company 11-Charley. Hawaii County is the only county in the State that uses volunteer fire fighters and provides the equipment and protective gear (PPEs) that volunteers use when responding to calls. Company 11-C routinely works with regular and volunteer fire companies from Naalehu, Pahala and Ocean View. These companies strive to provide protection to all areas of the Kau district and may also assist with large fires on other areas of the Island. Volunteer fire crews from Kona, Volcano, South Kohala and Puna have also been called in to help protect the Kau district during large fire events.
Company 11-C currently has the ability to respond to calls with 3 pieces of equipment: a 1990 Seagrave 1,000-gallon engine, a 1990 Chevrolet Kodiak 500-gallon engine, and a 1969 Willys 300-gallon brush truck. Volunteer fire fighting can be a difficult but rewarding endeavor. Many men and women volunteer to give back to the community through this undertaking and volunteers are always needed. If volunteering is something that may be of interest to you, please contact 11-C Volunteer Captain Ken Shisler at (410) 299-5359.
HISTORY - Planning for the Discovery Harbour fire house began in 1985. At that time there were few houses built and obtaining homeowner's insurance was an obstacle. In January 1986 a bid for the firehouse materials was approved in the amount of $7,125.76. In September of that year, Chuck Horan became the first Captain of the Discovery Harbour volunteer fire department. A blessing was held for the new firehouse in April 1987. In December of that year, 11-C responded to its first brush fire. In April 1988, a 1972 International 750-gallon engine was acquired and remained in service until January 2014. Finally, the VFD Training Hall (Community Center) was completed in April 1989. A gallery of Discovery Harbour volunteer fire captains is located in the Community Center.