HFD Honors Everyday Heroes

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - July 07, 2010
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Fire Chief Kenneth G. Silva presented a civilian Medal of Valor, several certificates of commendation and two certificates of recognition during a ceremony May 26 at fire depart-ment’s training center.

The commendation awards recognized civilians, off-duty HFD firefighters and police officers for their roles at several rescues and fire emergencies in 2009 and 2010.

Herbert Kaio-Campbell received the Civilian Medal of Valor for his heroic efforts Oct. 2, 2009, when he swam through rough surf at Makapuu Beach Park and rescued a female swimmer who was floating in the white water. Kaio-Campbell held her head above water and brought her to shore with help from his brother, Louis, who assisted with his boogie board and was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his efforts. Once on the beach, the brothers provided care to the swimmer until emergency responders arrived. The medal is the highest honor the HFD can give to a civilian.

Commendations went to firefighter Lon Shiroma and emergency responders Laakea Frias and Sheldon Hall. Shiroma was off-duty Sept. 19 when he assisted an elderly person in medical distress at a Kaimuki restaurant and provided medical care prior to the arrival of emergency responders. Frias and Hall ran barefoot over the rocky shoreline near Allen Davis Beach Oct. 2, dove into the ocean and rescued a swimmer in distress.

“These brave individuals chose to help when others were in danger and in doing so, placed themselves in danger,” said Silva. “Most of the time, they did not know the people they helped. They just reacted to the situation and did what was needed.

“We are all fortunate that brave people like these are among us, willing to come to the aid of strangers, to help their neighbors and make a difference. The difference is great to the ones they helped. The least we can do is show our gratitude for their courageous acts and honor them with our appreciation.”

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