East Hawaii News

Officer and Fire Fighter of the Year Awardees Honored

March 25, 2016, 9:34 AM HST
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Police Officer Ryan Pagan and Fire Captain Garrett Kim display plaques from the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi. HPD courtesy photo.

Police Officer Ryan Pagan and Fire Captain Garrett Kim display plaques from the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi. HPD courtesy photo.

Hawai’i Police Department Officer Ryan Pagan was recognized alongside Hawai’i County Fire Department Captain Garrett Kim as “Officer of the Year” and “Fire Fighter of the Year,” respectively.

The pair was honored by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai’i during a dinner ceremony on Thursday. Officer Pagan and Captain Kim each received a plaque, gift baskets, and certificates of commendation from the mayor’s office, the governor’s office, the state Legislature, and the Hawai’i County Council.

Officer Pagan joined HPD in 2008. He is a patrol officer assigned to the South Hilo District.

Captain Kim has been a part of HFD for 15 years and is assigned to the Kaumana Fire Station.

“Officer of the Year” was awarded to Officer Pagan for his efforts in rescuing an 88-year-old woman who had been reported missing along with her 93-year-old husband.


After several days of searching, Officer Pagan located the 88-year-old woman and the body of the 93-year-old man in a ravine down the street from a house owned by a relative.


The woman had fallen days earlier and was unable to get up. She had also been without food and water since her fall. In addition, her husband was located nearby but was no longer alive.

“It is Officer Pagan’s perseverance that made the difference which saved a life that day,” Lieutenant Alan Kimura wrote in nomination papers. “He is not a person who looks for recognition or talks about his accomplishments, however, his actions deserve to be acknowledged.”

Captain Kim was honored with the “Fire Fighter of the Year” award for his role in several programs that benefit HFD and the community. He spearheaded the programs by obtaining grant money, instructors, and the development of a class outline for the Fire Department Fire Ground Survival Program.


In addition, Captain Kim led the group in obtaining grant money and the development of the Fire Department’s Firefighter Peer Fitness Program.

Captain Kim was also recognized as an advocate for raising awareness of cancer prevention within the Fire Department, and has served as planning section chief in the Fire Department’s assistance to the county’s response to dengue fever.

“Captain Kim has accomplished all of these things and much more, without ever seeking any type of recognition,” said Captain Christian Wong, who nominated him. “He has accomplished all of these things out of genuine concern for his fellow firefighter and service to the community. The development of all these programs and the acquisition of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money to support them has been a great value to this community.”

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