Members of the Hawaii Fire Department’s 37th Fire Fighter Recruit Class pose for a class photo. From left to right: Eddie Abe, Andrew Penny, Adam Naehu, Kyle Teves, Randy Castro, Marcus Helm, Tay Soares, Helaku Hedlund, Micah Chew-Maarumoto, Kyle Vares, Aaron Mitchell, Jeremy Tekurio, Brysen Heidenfeldt, Yurik Resetnikov, James Kupahu and John Martin.
Nineteen fire fighters graduated from 37th recruit class
The Hawaii Fire Department held commencement exercises for its 37th Fire Fighter Recruit Class on Friday, December 19, 2008, at the Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo.
The new Fire Fighters are: Eddie Abe, Randy Castro, Micah Chew-Marumoto, Helaku Hedlund, Brysen Heidenfeldt, Marcus Helm, James Kupahu, John Martin, Aaron Mitchell, Adam Naehu, Andrew Penny, Yurik Resetnikov, Jeremy Tekurio, Kyle Teves, Tay Soares, and Kyle Vares.
The class underwent 11 months of intensive instruction and fieldwork. The first 5½ months involved fire and rescue training that included a nationally recognized fire science curriculum, wildland fire training, hazardous materials operations training, rescue operations familiarization, lifeguard certification, and driver training.
The remainder of their training was spent at the Emergency Medical Services Training Center where the fire fighters earned their Emergency Medical Technicians Basic and Intermediate certifications. During this time, they also spent nine weeks applying their emergency medical technicians skills on clinical rotations through Central, Kawailani, Keaau, Kailua, and Pahoa Fire Stations on the ambulance, as well as at the Emergency Room, Obstetrics, and Intensive Care Units at Hilo Medical Center and the Kona Community Hospital.
At the luncheon ceremonies, Mayor Billy Kenoi congratulated the recruits for completing their extremely vigorous training program that has prepared them to serve the public. He applauded them for their courage, dedication and commitment to their chosen profession. He said, “You are one of the few County employees who we ask to make a sacrifice for your family and friends.” Mayor Kenoi reminded the class to treat everyone with aloha, respect, and compassion as they embark on their careers.
Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira spoke of celebration, sacrifice, and giving thanks. He told the class that they are here today to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work, as well as the work put forth by their instructors. But most importantly, he stressed the sacrifice, commitment and support of their families and friends, saying
“that’s the true celebration.” Chief Oliveira also asked the recruits to be thankful for what they have and to be cognizant of the impact of the economy and challenges they will encounter. “As you go out, carry your position, and keep in mind the last few words of our mission statement: dedicated to serve with pride, honor and compassion.”
Fire Commissioner Wil Okabe congratulated the recruits for surviving their training and also applauded the parents and friends for their support of these young men. He reminded the class that their mission is to save lives. “Each time you meet a person in stress or distress, you will be faced with people who want your help. You are the privileged individuals who are able to help them.” In closing, Commissioner Okabe thanked the recruits for their service and welcomed them to the Hawaii Fire Department ohana.
Mr. James Gray, who was the instructor for the Emergency Medical Technician segment of the class, encouraged the recruits to keep up their studies and maintain their skills. He said, “Always have compassion and empathy for your patients. Never forget where you came from.”
Captain Gerald Kosaki of the Fire Department’s Training Bureau stressed to the class the importance of maintaining a positive attitude throughout their careers and remembering the teamwork concept. He urged them to give it their best for the next 25 years.
The 37th Fire Fighter Class message was delivered by Kyle Vares, who told the audience that it’s been a year of challenges, but more importantly, a year of accomplishment. On behalf of his class, he thanked their families for their understanding and support, as they have been the key for the class standing here today. “As we begin our careers, we look forward to the privilege of serving our communities.”
Having successfully met all the criteria of their recruit training, the 37th Fire Fighter Class was presented to Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira and Deputy Fire Chief Glen Honda, who issued them their badges. As is customary in fire service, the fire fighters then chose a family member or friend to pin their badge on their uniform.
The new fire fighters will soon receive their first station assignments.
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