16 New Recruits Join Hawai‘i Fire Department
The Hawai‘i Fire Department held commencement exercises for its 45th Fire Fighter Recruit Class on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at Sangha Hall in Hilo.
The new fire fighters are Marcus Hoeflinger, Dayne Kato, Kiley Kawazoe, Chase Komatsu, Brock Miller, Aaron Moniz, Michael Presiados, Tysen Pasco-Brown, Stephen Shirk, Jacob Smith, Keoni Soares, Sean Soriano, William Spain, Adam Veloria, Jordan Victorine and Brian Wilson.
The class underwent months of intensive instruction/classroom exercises and fieldwork. These included fire and rescue training that included a nationally recognized fire science curriculum, wildland fire training, rescue operations familiarization, aquatics competency certification, hazardous materials response and driver training.
The ending of their Fire Fighter Recruit training was spent at the Emergency Medical Services Training Center, where the fire fighters earned their Emergency Medical Technicians Basic certification.
The entire Emergency Medical Technician program was approximately 10 weeks long, and included four weeks on clinical rotations on Hawai‘i Fire Department and American Medical Response ambulance units around the island, as well as at the Emergency Room, Obstetrics and Intensive Care Units at Hilo Medical Center and Kona Hospital.
The recruits also went through 80 to 100 hours of live burn training at the Hawai‘i Fire Departments burn trailer, simulating smoked out, limited to no-visibility conditions and intense heat, trying to prepare them as best as possible for being inside of a live structure fire.
Guest speakers included Hawai‘i County Fire Commissioner Robert Becker, Hawai‘i Fire Fighter Association Hawai‘i Island Representative Charles Spain, Assistant Fire Chief of Support Services Lance Uchida, training captains and recruit training officers.
Each speaker emphasized the value of training received, dependability, professionalism, safety, pride, family and support, setting a foundation for what’s to come.
Excerpts from the speakers:
“Never stop learning, never stop growing; we serve a higher purpose, stay out of trouble; appreciate this opportunity, nothing is owed to you”
“It’s an honor and privilege to work for the Hawai‘i Fire Department; behind every great
man, is a great woman; do your job to the best of your ability with professionalism and
Training Captains Mark Provencal and Ka‘aina Keawe, along with Capt. Richard Fong and RTOs Fire Equipment Operator Matthew Loper and Fire Equipment Operator Mark Spain conveyed their congratulations and best of luck to the 45th Fire Fighter Recruit graduating class.
“We are a family and if ever any one needs help, we are here,” they said. “The learning never stops. Be humble, respectful, honest and remember everyone who helped you along the way—from your captains, instructors, trainers and including your family. Support comes from all around you—be sure to always remember that support as it got you to where you are today; the beginning of your future
with the Hawai‘i Fire Department.”
Each of the speakers also addressed families and friends in the audience, whose support and understanding helped to bring the class through the rigorous physical and academic training demands.
Fire Chief Darren Rosario also expressed his thanks and appreciation to all of the family members for their guidance and support throughout training.
The 45th Fire Fighter Class message was delivered by class President Sean Soriano. He thanked the administration, his instructors and the families.
“The most beautiful aspect was watching a group of individuals mold into a team of one,” said Soriano. “Sixteen strangers progressed to 16 friends and eventually 16 brothers at the end of class. Bonds became stronger each day, and while as a class we faced many challenges, fears and anxieties, we all helped each other through tough times.”
Soriano went on to thank the families for their support from home and also their training captains and RTOs for guiding each of them through the rigorous process, stating “you all have been great examples of what it means to be a part of the Hawai‘i Fire Department.”
Ending the speeches, the entire 45th Fire Fighter Recruit class, including Capt. Keawe and Fire Equipment Operator Loper, gathered together to demonstrate a tradition called “pride pushups.”
Having successfully met the all criteria of their recruit training, the 45th Fire Fighter Class was presented to Fire Chief Rosario and Deputy Fire Chief Renwick Victorino, 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.