Hirokazu Toiya named Director of Emergency Management
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Feb 4, 2019
Honolulu — Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that Hirokazu “Hiro” Toiya has been appointed as director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), effective Feb. 1.
Toiya has been the acting director of the Department of Emergency Management since October of 2018, and previous served as deputy director since July 2017.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have Hiro working at the Department of Emergency Management over the past several years,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Time and again he has demonstrated his leadership skills and the ability to stay focused and composed under high-pressure situations. Hiro is a natural leader and has a proven capacity to work with government and community partners to keep O‘ahu residents safe and secure through all types of emergency situations.”
Toiya works with staff to coordinate efforts with other city departments as well as state, federal, and non-governmental partners on all aspects of emergency management for the City and County of Honolulu. He has extensive experience with numerous activations of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), including tsunamis, tropical cyclones, severe weather events, structural and wild fires, and other high profile events.
“Working with our partners from all levels of government, voluntary agencies, private sector organizations and community groups, we can truly become more resilient and better prepared,” said Toiya. “While we have many challenges ahead, I’m grateful for this opportunity to lead the department and our program into the future.”
Prior to becoming the deputy director at Emergency Management, Toiya was the training and exercise officer for the department. His responsibilities included planning, conducting and evaluating emergency management and response-related trainings and exercises. Toiya has also worked in public health emergency management as the senior planner at the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. He was also responsible for working with state and local emergency managers and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Strategic National Stockpile program.
Toiya received a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina. During his time there, Toiya was engaged in recovery activities including assessment of community needs, coordinating community health fairs, and managing a food pantry in an underserved neighborhood. Toiya is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering and has experience as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in Atlanta’s 911 system.