Fire Department Welcomes 13 Graduating Recruits
The ranks of the Hawaii County Fire Department have increased by 13 with the graduation last month of its latest recruit class.
The 42nd Fire Fighter Recruit Class underwent 12 months of intensive classroom and field training.
According to the department, that included training in rescue operations, aquatics competency, driver training and, of course, fighting a variety of fires, including wildfires.
The recruits also spent more than two months earning their Emergency Medical Technicians certification, which is basic paramedic training.
Recruits also spent about four weeks on clinical rotations on ambulances at various fire stations as well as at the emergency rooms, obstetrics departments and intensive care units at Hilo Medical Center and Kona Community Hospital.
Mayor Bill Kenoi, the guest speaker at the commencement held April 12 at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, reminded the graduates that public safety is always the top priority.
He said that is achieved through hard work, compassion, continuous training and trusting themselves and their brothers and sisters in uniform.
Recruit Training Officers James Wilson, a fire rescue specialist, and Mark Spain, a fire equipment operator, spoke of the department’s core values.
“We live, eat, train, respond and even die with people of our organization,” the recruits were told. “Every action we take is intended to prepare for or actually deliver service to people who may be facing the worst days of their lives.”
Class President Neil Cho expressed his appreciation for his classmates, family and trainers during what he said was one of the hardest challenges he had ever faced.
The station assignments for the new firefighters include Central, Honokaa, South Kohala, Kailua, Keauhou, North Kohala, Kawailani, Pahoa and Captain Cook.