Special ceremony held for 22 promoted in Kaua‘i Fire Department

Island Power Outage
February 2, 2018
Kūhiō Highway closed near Hanalei Bridge as Flash Flood Warning remains in effect; Hanalei School open as Red Cross shelter
February 4, 2018

Special ceremony held for 22 promoted in Kaua‘i Fire Department

LĪHU‘E – The Kaua‘i Fire Department held a special ceremony on Monday to promote 20 firefighters and two ocean safety officers at the Līhu‘e Civic Center’s Mo‘ikeha courtyard.

“Congratulations to these 22 individuals who have worked hard to achieve this great accomplishment,” stated Fire Chief Robert Westerman. “Thank you for your willingness to serve our community, residents and visitors, and for reaching beyond expectations in your important role as first responders.”

Deputy Fire Chief Kilipaki Vaughan began Monday’s ceremony by explaining the significance of the pins the men were about to receive.

“In the early days of the North American fire departments, officers gave orders to the firefighters through a large brass device resembling megaphones,” said Deputy Fire Chief Vaughan at Monday’s ceremony. “We know these as ‘bugles’ and a firefighter’s rank is signified by the color and number of bugles, and the arrangement on their badge.”

At the ceremony, the Battalion Chiefs received two gold crossed bugles and the Fire Captains received two silver upright bugles.

“Our first responders choose to dedicate their lives to helping others, and they never give up on this mission to serve our community,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “Congratulations to you and your ‘ohana for surpassing all tests and challenges you’ve had to face in order to achieve this great moment today.”

The following individuals received promotional pins at Monday’s ceremony: Gary Hudson, Solomon Kanoho, Clyde Weddell, Makali‘i Andrade, Dodd Apao, Curtis Langstaff, Joseph Durocher, Chauncey Pa, Jeremie Makepa, John Cornell, Micah Mokuahi, Kevin Cook, Maui Kjeldsen, Nicholas Pananganan, Raymond Veeck, Derek Tsunehiro, Kekoa Dizol, Jeremy Albano, Jeremy Cole, Bo Domingcil, Tyrus Siale and Kleve Zarbaugh.

Gary Hudson was promoted to Battalion Chief. Hudson has served in KFD for 23 years, with his last assignment as Fire Captain at the Kapa‘a fire station. His contributions include serving 17 years as chair of the Equipment Committee, fire instructor for Initial Attack training, and fire recruit instructor for Building Construction training. As Battalion Chief, Hudson is now in charge of eight fire stations and 40 personnel.

Solomon Kanoho was promoted to Battalion Chief. Kanoho has served in KFD for 23 years, with his last assignment as Fire Captain at the Kōloa fire station. Kanoho’s contributions include helping to found and incorporate the KFD Relief Fund, assisting in acquiring jet-boat and jet-ski equipment for the Kaua‘i Ocean Rescue Council, serving as chair for the KFD Apparatus Committee, and serving as chair and grant writer for the KFD Grant Committee. Battalion Chief Kanoho is now in charge of eight fire stations and 39 personnel.

Clyde Weddell was promoted to Fire Captain. Weddell has served in KFD for 23 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter III at the Līhu‘e fire station. Weddell has taken on the special projects of keeping the Līhu‘e station’s 16-year-old fire engine running and ready to respond safely. Weddell began his promotional assignment at the Hanapēpē fire station.

Makali‘i Andrade was promoted to Fire Captain. Andrade has served in KFD for 20 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter III at the Hanalei fire station. His contributions include serving as a United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) instructor and jet-ski instructor. Andrade began his promotional assignment at the Kapa‘a fire station.

Dodd Apao was promoted to Fire Captain. Apao has served in KFD for 18 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter III at the Kaiākea fire station. His contributions to KFD include writing grants resulting in a fire prevention and safety award for the fire safety trailer, and a HMSA foundation award for the hands-only CPR program equipment that is dedicated to 27 Kaua‘i schools. Apao began his promotional assignment at the Kalāheo fire station.

Curtis Langstaff was promoted to Fire Captain. Langstaff has served in KFD for 18 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter III, Rescue Specialist, at the Līhu‘e fire station. Langstaff has been a CPR instructor with KFD for over 15 years and was involved in the development of the Friends of KFD, a non-profit organization. Langstaff began his promotional assignment at the Līhu‘e fire station.

Joseph Durocher was promoted to Fire Captain. Durocher has served in KFD for 17 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter III at the Līhu‘e fire station. His contributions include serving as a fire instructor for Extrication and Forcible Entry training. Durocher began his promotional assignment at the Līhu‘e fire station.

Chauncey Pa was promoted to Fire Captain. Pa has served in KFD for 16 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter III at the Hanalei fire station. His contributions include serving as a fire ground instructor for Initial Attack training, lead instructor for the Sparky Fire Safety Trailer, and a USLA water safety instructor. Pa began his promotional assignment at the Kalāheo fire station.

Jeremie Makepa was promoted to Fire Captain. Makepa has served in KFD for 16 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter III at the Kōloa fire station. His contributions include launching the Sparky Trailer Prevention Program that has reached thousands of students since its inception. Makepa began his promotional assignment at the Waimea fire station.

John Cornell was promoted to Firefighter III. Cornell has served in KFD for 11 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter II, HAZMAT, at the Kaiākea fire station. His contributions include serving as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program Coordinator, as well as the secretary for the KFD Relief Fund. Cornell began his promotional assignment at in the KFD Prevention Bureau.

Micah Mokuahi was promoted to Firefighter III. Mokuahi has served in KFD for eight years with his last assignment as Firefighter II, HAZMAT, at the Kaiākea fire station. His contributions include assisting as USLA fire service instructor, and serving as co-chair for the Communications Committee. Mokuahi began his promotional assignment at the Kalāheo fire station.

Kevin Cook was promoted to Firefighter III. Cook has served in KFD for 14 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter I at the Kapa‘a fire station. His contributions include assisting with the implementation of the Smoke Alarm Installation Program, serving as a CPR Instructor, as well as a fire instructor for the Sparky Fire Safety Trailer. Cook began his promotional assignment at the Waimea fire station.

Maui Kjeldsen was promoted to Firefighter III. Kjeldsen has served in KFD for 13 years with his last assignment as Firefighter II, Rescue Specialist. Kjeldsen began his promotional assignment at the Hanapēpē fire station.

Nicholas Pananganan was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Apparatus Operator. Pananganan has served in KFD for 12 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter I at the Hanapēpē fire station. His contributions include assisting in the drafting of EMS Standard Operating Guidelines, serving as fire instructor for Recruit HAZMAT Awareness and Operations training, and as a hands-only CPR instructor working with school students and faculty. Pananganan began his promotional assignment at the Waimea fire station.

Raymond Veeck was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Apparatus Operator. Veeck has served in KFD for 10 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter I at the Kapa‘a fire station. Veeck began his promotional assignment at the Hanapēpē fire station.

Derek Tsunehiro was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Apparatus Operator. Tsunehiro has served in KFD for 10 years, with his last assignment as Firefighter II at the Kaiākea fire station. His contributions include working on the Capital Improvement Project Committee and the 50 Year Building Plan Committee. Tsunehiro began his promotional assignment at the Hanapēpē fire station.

Kekoa Dizol was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Apparatus Operator. Dizol has served in KFD for 12 years with his last assignment as Firefighter II, HAZMAT, at the Kaiākea fire station. His contributions include working as a fire instructor in Extrication and Ropes Rescue Systems training. Dizol began his promotional assignment at the Kalāheo fire station.

Jeremy Albano was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Inspector. Albano has served in KFD for seven years with his last assignment as Firefighter I at the Kōloa fire station. His contributions include serving on the Communications, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Accountability Committees. Albano began his promotional assignment at the KFD Prevention Bureau.

Jeremy Cole was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Service Trainer. Cole has served in KFD for six years, with his last assignment as Firefighter I at the Kōloa Fire Station. His contributions include working on the Emergency Medical Services and Standard Operating Guideline Committees. Cole has begun his promotional assignment at the KFD Training Bureau.

Bo Domingcil was promoted to Firefighter II. Domingcil has served in KFD for eight years, with his last assignment as Firefighter I at the Līhu‘e fire station. His contributions include coordinating the KFD volunteer effort with Kaua‘i Hospice’s Concert in the Sky fundraiser. Domingcil began his promotional assignment at the Kaiākea fire station.

Tyrus Siale was promoted to Ocean Safety Officer IV. Siale has served in the Ocean Safety Bureau (OSB) for seven years, with his last assignment as an Ocean Safety Officer Lieutenant in OSB Prevention and Training. His contributions include assisting with the Junior Lifeguard and KPAL programs, and serving the community as the race director for the Kaua‘i Hoe Waa Outrigger Canoe Racing Organization. Siale began his promotional assignment in OSB Prevention and Training.

Kleve Zarbaugh was promoted to Ocean Safety Officer III. Zarbaugh has a total of 19 years of service as an ocean safety officer, with his last assignment as an Ocean Safety Officer II, serving the East District Jet-Ski Roving Patrol. His contributions include serving as an instructor for the Junior Lifeguard Program, New Recruit training, Jet-Ski Operator and Grabber training, East District Union Steward training, and First Aid and CPR training. Zarbaugh began his promotional assignment in OSB Prevention and Training.

Photo Captions:

KFD 1: From left to right, first row: Dodd Apao, Curtis Langstaff, Fire Chief Robert Westerman, Battalion Chief Solomon Kanoho, Battalion Chief Gary Hudson, Jeremy Albano, Kleve Zarbaugh, Tyrus Siale, Deputy Chief Kilipaki Vaughan. Second row: Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., Clyde Weddell, Kekoa Dizol, John Cornell, Kevin Cook, Maui Kjeldsen, Nicholas Pananganan. Third row: Makali‘i Andrade, Chauncey Pa, Joseph Durocher, Jeremie Makepa, Jeremy Cole, Bo Domingcil. Fourth row: Assistant Chief Dean Lake, Battalion Chief Jason Ornellas, Micah Mokuahi, Raymond Veeck, Derek Tsunehiro.