The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association (HFFA Local 1463) is an affiliate of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), AFL-CIO.  Since 1963, HFFA Local 1463 has been the exclusive collective bargaining representative for all City, State and County fire fighters in Hawai‘i.  Its primary role is to negotiate and administer the collective bargaining agreement which governs the terms and conditions of fire fighter employment while handling grievances, and perform labor-related and legislative activities in the interest of its members.

The IAFF is the driving force behind nearly every advance in the fire and emergency services in the 21st century. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and Ottawa, Ontario, the IAFF represents more than 313,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics in more than 3,200 affiliates. IAFF members protect more than 85 percent of the population in communities throughout the United States and Canada. The IAFF is also one of the most active lobbying organizations in Washington, DC. The IAFF Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, is among the top one-half of one percent of the nearly 6,000 federally registered PACs in the country.

It is an undeniable fact that among labor organizations, HFFA and its parent union, the IAFF, are second to none when it comes to membership representation. Whether at the bargaining table or in the legislative halls of Washington, D.C.; from the county council to the Fire Chief’s office; in the courts and throughout the 50th state, Hawai‘i‘s fire fighters are ably represented.

You can count on HFFA Local 1463 members to bravely protect lives and property knowing that their Union is looking out for them. Because when seconds count, saving a life is all that matters.


Unity and Strength for All.


Assistant Chief
Kauai Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1995

Throughout my career, the HFFA has negotiated fair wages and benefits for its members. They also have represented us in clarifying issues when there were policy disagreements with firefighters and management. We have been very fortunate to have the quality of representation we’ve had over the years and it has made a positive difference. I fully support the HFFA and will continue to be a member.

Assistant Chief Dean Lake


Retiree, Captain
Honolulu Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1982

In retirement, who will lobby for you when the legislature starts taking back your pension and benefits?


FF1 Napili Engine C Watch
Kauai Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 2014

I support the union because I feel the Union has my back.  They fight for my pay and benefits, making sure we are getting treated fairly. I feel confident in my ability to provide for my family and the future of my career because the Union is always fighting for the firefighters.


Kauai Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1999

The union has opened many doors for all of us. Equal and fair treatment, great wages, safer work environments, honest promotional processes, and just representation are just some of the things the union does for us. Without the union I can honestly say that we would be in a much worse position.



FF2 Hazmat 10 A Watch
Maui Fire Department & 
Member since 2003

Working on Hazmat with Jeff Kihune (Maui chair 2012-2017) for 6 years gave me an appreciation of how hard our union is working for all of us.  That’s why I’m sticking with the union.


Honolulu Fire Department,
HFFA 2017-2019 Oahu Board Member &
HFFA Member since 1996

I commend and appreciate our union for all it has done for firefighters.  Their sole purpose is to ensure that WE are represented and have a voice.  This unified voice, along with the unwavering dedication, vigilance, and passion of our leaders, helps to ensure that WE (including our families) are safe, respected, and receive fair compensation from our employer.  Take a look at the contents of your CBA.  In my opinion, there is no better return for your money.

This past weekend reminded me of what it means to be Union strong and why I believe strongly in HFFA and its members.

While participating in the Fill the Boot campaign to raise money for the MDA foundation recently, I witnessed a Union come together.  Family members, Union members and others from every level and rank. Explorers, recruits, all the way up to BC’s came together with purpose to support the cause and help those less fortunate then ourselves.  

This is the crux of our Union, members coming together to fight for a cause.  Sometimes for ourselves, sometimes for others.

Seeing all the members and their families taking time from their busy weekend to support HFFA, reminded me of why I’m staying Union Strong and will continue to support HFFA and support all the HFFA members in what ever way I can.


Hawaii Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1993

I commend and appreciate our union for all it has done for firefighters.  Their sole purpose is to ensure that WE are represented and have a voice.  This unified voice, along with the unwavering dedication, vigilance, and passion of our leaders, helps to ensure that WE (including our families) are safe, respected, and receive fair compensation from our employer.  Take a look at the contents of your CBA.  In my opinion, there is no better return for your money.


Interim Fire Chief
Maui Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1991

Ultimately, union or management, firefighter or chief, it shouldn’t matter. We are all one, working together in harmonious partnership to take care of and protect the community and ourselves.


Deputy Fire Chief
Hawaii Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1994

As member of the Hawai‘i Fire Fighters Association for the past 24 years, I can strongly state that our union has been instrumental in several key areas such as Firefighter safety, fair and equitable compensation, with medical and fringe benefits to name a few of them. Without HFFA’s direct involvement, many of these concerns and or issues would not be addressed to the standard that we know today. Please continue to support your Local 1463!


AC1 Operations
Hawaii Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1991

The HFFA Local 1463 has provided the members of the Hawaii Fire Department with the necessary representation in conjunction with fair and equitable compensation and benefits. Members of HFD routinely place themselves in harm’s way for our community and the Local 1463 has been there every step of the way. As a chief officer, I understand the sacrifices our BU 11 members make each and every day they show up for duty — and show up they do. MAHALO Local 1463!!


Assistant Chief of Operations
Maui Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1987

From the benefits and protections that the union has fought to provide our members, the union-HFFA has always had my back! While as a Chief Officer my union-HFFA membership is optional, I value and am proud to remain a member.


Honolulu Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1973

Aloha Kākou,

As a retired Fire Captain of over ten years and still a contributing member of HFFA L1463, the recent SCOTUS decision on the JANUS case may have many of our Firefighting Brothers questioning the need for the continued support for our local chapter of IAFF. I cannot speak for the our current active duty rank-and-file, though I understand that through the efforts of our Union, fairer compensation, in wages, medical benefits, safety issues and collective bargaining representation, continue to protect our members and their families. This representation does not end here. Our local Union, in collaboration with the IAFF, continues to monitor and protect the rights of retired and disabled firefighters, which someday will be YOU! It’s important to remember that your Union is You — the members. Threats and untimely decision will always exist. The IAFF, of which we are a local, has just celebrated its 100th anniversary of representing and defending the rights of its members. The Honolulu Fire Department, founded on December 27, 1850 by Kamehameha III, of which you are an exclusive member, also has a proud history of protecting the citizens of the City & County of O‘ahu. As a brotherhood we need to do our duty, as we have sworn to protect the general public, and just as importantly, ban together to safeguard and look after our membership and our families. Your Union stands ready to protect both you and the rights of your family. Now is not the time for consternation! Now is the time to stand even firmer, united, and committed to your profession and the welfare of your families! Stay connected, support your Union, they are there for YOU!

Oni Pa‘a!
Captain Robert Lenchanko E26/2nd (Waianae)
Retired 4/1/07


Assistant Fire Chief
Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) &
HFFA Member since 1989

I have been a member of the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association (HFFA) from when I started with the State of Hawaii, Crash Fire Rescue unit in 1989. HFFA has been there for me my whole career. I was raised in a family of union leaders and realized long before 1989 the true value and hard work that has gone into creating this amazing organization that exists today. Uncle “Black” (Richard Perry), my dad, Francis Kennedy Jr., Aunty Sandy, along with many, many others, have dedicated their lives and have poured out their hearts and souls into what has become one of the most powerful unions in the State of Hawaii. I have had the opportunity to serve as an HFFA union representative for the airport fire fighters and the executive board and have witnessed the dedication and hard work first hand.

Besides salaries, the HFFA has ensured that fire fighters in the State, across the board, have all that’s required to do the job. Many fire fighters take for granted everything they actually have, not understanding or realizing the history of how it all happened. Uniforms and firefighting equipment, annual physicals, meals, holiday pay, and Rank for Rank, are just some of the benefits enjoyed today. The HFFA’s largest benefit to me though, is ensuring that members get what they deserve and that all are treated with respect and equality no matter what the situation is. There is a lot of comfort and confidence knowing that HFFA is always there and they will take care of the issues that arise. The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association will fight for ALL, not just some. Anyone that believes that being separate or divided is somehow beneficial, does not understand true unity.

Regardless of having a choice, the only choice is to make sure HFFA has the support and backing of 100% of the fire fighters in the State of Hawaii, this is where it’s true strength comes from. I’m asking all of you, if given a choice, to search your hearts and understand that we are always stronger together, unity is the root of any organization. Be strong, stay strong!

Mahalo and God Bless.

Fire Fighter 3
Kauai Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 2003

HFFA has helped me throughout my career. When injured in my second year with Honolulu Fire Department, I was given a light duty position in the administrative bureau until completely healed. My first child was born 8 years ago and there was confusion over my Family Leave. The union was able to clear up this issue in a meeting with Fire 3. Seven years ago, I moved from Honolulu Fire Department to Kaua‘i Fire Department. Since the two departments are staffed by our bargaining unit I was able to retain my original hire date and pay step. Four years ago, all the brothers and sisters in the union came to my aid when I had a medical emergency and had to miss several months of work. During that time, several of my coworkers worked shifts to preserve my sick leave in case I was out of work for an extended time. All of this would not have been possible without the work benefits our union has won, the support of HFFA, and the unity of our members.

Click photo to enlarge. Pictured, L to R: Adam Hussey, Jeremy Cole, Jacob Minei, Solomon Kanoho, Mathew Ballard


Fire Fighter 1
Honolulu Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 2016

I see the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association (HFFA) as a resource for information on what’s happening with our brothers and sisters in the Fire Service.  Members can participate in community service project opportunities and find fellowship with other firefighters, both retired and active duty.   Compensation benefits, Health Benefits, Right to Due Process, Protection from discrimination in the workplace, Employer-required training, Certification and Licenses, and Leave of Absence, are just few of the benefits afforded us through our CBA.  As a member of the HFFA, not only are we investing in ourselves, but more than that, we’re ensuring that our all brothers and sisters in the Fire Service will have the resources and support of the HFFA should they need it.  #HFFA1463Strong


Assistant Fire Chief
Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) &
HFFA Member since 1989

I’ve worked for the State for 37 years and was represented by three (3) Unions; HGEA, UPW and HFFA. The HFFA has a strong base of fellowship due to two things — firefighters run their Union, President puts firefighters safely “first and foremost”.

Mahalo & Aloha,
Marielle Ponce


Maui Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 2005

The union has always fought for our safety, fair wages and the advancement in training for our profession.  It’s nice to know that you have their support if you ever need them.


Hawaii Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 2006

Joining Local 1463 over 12 years ago has added exponential benefit to myself and my family. With each year that passes by, I continue to learn of more benefits that we ALL receive personally from our union. Let’s continue to stand together. In full support of everything that was fought for at the bargaining table for our families and our future. Together, let’s remain UNION STRONG!


Spouse of Kenneth Ponce, Retiree
Kauai Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1979

I am the wife of a retired firefighter. My husband, Ken, retired at the end of 2003. When he retired, I told him that I thought it was really important to keep supporting the HFFA/IAFF. The benefits he & our family were receiving were, in many ways, a result of union. Please retirees, remember those first paychecks you received. They were surprisingly small. The plus was the benefits & the knowledge that the paychecks would increase.  Thanks to the union, we could count on this. Please, to all firefighters & retired firefighters, let us support this union that has fought for us. Let us do this for the young firefighters & their families, as well as ourselves. Let us have common sense & courtesy as we move forward.

Mahalo & Aloha,
Marielle Ponce


Honolulu Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 1995

Support the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association by staying an active union member.  Remember that our union provides: 
– good wages and benefits,
– power to negotiate for BETTER wages and benefits for  the future,
– provides a safe workplace. 


Fire Fighter III
Maui Fire Department &
HFFA Member since 2005

The union protects our jobs, we are stronger together.  I will be a union member for life.


Fire Fighter III
Kauai Fire Department
& HFFA Member since 2001

I’ve been an HFFA union member going on 18 years now, and grateful for it every day of my career. On top of all the benefits I’m thankful unionized labor has fought to secure for society, HFFA goes above and beyond. During the recent flooding on Kauai, my family was affected with significant damage to our home, and HFFA was the first organization to show up for my own, and a handful of other HFFA families offering assistance.


Honolulu Fire Department
& HFFA Member since 1994

Coming from a multi-generational HFFA family I have seen what benefits the Union has fought for or had to fight to protect. Both as a family member and now a Union member the Union has continued to try and improve my quality of life. I appreciate the support HFFA has provided, not only for my contractual benefits but just about any issue that affects any of the HFFA members and our families. I’m keeping #HFFAstrong


Hawaii Fire Department
& HFFA Member since 2004

The union has not only fought for our compensation and benefits, but for our safety and the advancement of our profession. Remember T.E.A.M…together everyone achieves more. Let’s ensure we have a seat at the table and work together towards the future. Stay “UNION STRONG!”


Fire Fighter I
Honolulu Fire Department
& HFFA Member since 2016

First off, just wanted to say thank you for everything the union has done to help my family and I during this time, and a Mahalo Nui to all those who worked for me. Wouldn’t have been able to care for my family without the substitution benefit that our CBA provides, and of course, with all the help from my fellow brothers and sisters of HFD and HFFA. We still have a month or two to go and can’t wait to bring Lily home to meet her Ohana. Thanks again for all the support!

Mahalo, Christopher K. Johnson, Q34/2


Battalion Chief
Kauai Fire Department
& HFFA Member since 1988

In my nearly 30 years as a firefighter from Recruit to Battalion Chief, the HFFA has always made members concerns a priority and adapted to challenges as they have changed. From salaries to PPE’s to station placement and fairness for all members, the HFFA has been and will continue to be our advocate. I am proud to be a member.

Battalion Chief Jason Ornellas


Captain, Retiree
Hawaii County Fire Department
& HFFA Member since 1976

I retired in 2006 ago after a 30 year career in the fire department.

During those 30 years, as a union member, I know they did the right thing for me then and even now. The benefits that was gained over the 30 years in pay and benefits was tremendous. Now as a retiree on a fixed income, I still belong because it is the right thing to do. With HFFA and the other unions working together to secure my retirement pension and health insurance, I am able to enjoy my retirement

Don’t take things for granted, especially if you think the employers are going to increase your wages because you think you deserve it. Don’t think that retirement benefits can’t change. Because it can and without a strong union, our voices will be silenced.

I have never filed a grievance or had a grievance filed against me but if I did, I know I could have called the HFFA and they would be there to make sure I was represented.

Don’t take for granted what you have now and without our support of the HFFA, they cannot support all of us.

Support our union, HFFA.

Randall Shimooka
Hilo, Hawaii

Tell us how you’re Sticking with the Union. Send us your message and a picture!

We Do More Than Save Lives!

Since 1954, fire fighters have supported those challenged with neuromuscular diseases by helping the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) work towards finding a cure. There have been great strides in the advancement against muscular diseases. Today, the MDA strives to provide ways for patients to Live Unlimited. Their new motto is: For Strength, Independence and Life. Fire fighters and MDA Hawaii will once again secure storefronts and malls for HFFA and its members to conduct our Fill The Boot Fundraisers in a safety-conscious environment. We thank these businesses for their continued support over the years. Please check back for dates and locations of our Fill the Boot fundraisers.