East Hawaii News

Latest Recruit Class Graduates Join Hawaii Fire Department

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The Hawaii Fire Department recently held commencement exercise for its 41st Fire Fighter Recruit Class.

Department officials said the class underwent months of intensive instruction and fieldwork from a nationally recognized fire science curriculum.

That included fire and rescue training, treatment of wildland fires, handling of hazardous materials, lifeguard certification and driver training.

The recruits also earned Emergency Medical Technicians Basic certifications.

The recruits applied their EMT skills on clinical rotations through the Central, Kawailani and Keaau Fire Stations on the ambulance, as well as at the emergency room, obstetrics and intensive care units at Hilo Medical Center.

In comments to the recruits, Toby Taniguchi, chairman of the county Fire Commission, emphasized that they are about to join the ranks of men and women and a department steeped in a tradition of service and honor.

“The commission wants the recruits to know that the public puts a tremendous amount of faith and trust in the work they have endeavored to undertake and because of that, we ask each of them to do everything in their power to always honor the public’s trust,” Taniguchi said during the May 18 ceremony at the Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo.

“When you receive your assignments, and with well over 20,000 emergency calls a year, there is a high probability you will hit the ground running.”

Taniguchi told the new firefighters to always have “compassion and empathy” for those they serve as some will be having “the worst time of their lives.”

Mayor Billy Kenoi told the recruits that learning will be a lifelong process in their career. He said the Hawaii Fire Department is known for its camaraderie and unity and urged the new fire fighters to wear their badges proudly.

Fire Chief Darren Rosario thanked the instructors and trainers, peers and firefighters who will continue to work with the recruits to refine their skills, and most importantly, the families.

Rosario emphasized that the recruits need to exemplify the department’s core values of integrity, pride, commitment to service, safety and teamwork.

The 41st Fire Fighter Class message was delivered by Matthew Case.

Case told his fellow recruits and others in the audience that while their path was not always a smooth road, he appreciated the importance of the training received and taking what was learned to a whole new level.  He also expressed his gratitude for being trained with the men he stood beside during the recent months.


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