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West Maui recruits honored for achievements during firefighting training

By Staff | Oct 11, 2018

From left, West Siders Carson Chihara, Dane Kea Rogers, Tasha Pagdilao, Nick Lawson and Chris Pico celebrate their graduation from firefighting training.

KAHULUI – The County of Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety and the State of Hawaii Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting honored the 34th Recruit Class at a graduation ceremony on Sept. 28 at Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes.

Before a packed house of state, county and department dignitaries, along with families and loved ones of the graduates, the 23 members of Recruit Class 34 were recognized for completing the intensive six-month training regimen with speeches and the MFD Badge Pinning ceremony at the picturesque setting at the Dunes At Maui Lani.

The special awards segment of the ceremony had a distinct taste of Lahaina to it, as Dane Kea Rogers was recognized as the Outstanding Academic recruit; Marlon Lewis, the son of former Lahaina resident and world-renowned surfboard manufacturer Jimmy Lewis, was honored as the Most Outstanding recruit; and Tasha Pagdilao and Carson Chihara were recognized as the Outstanding Team of the class.

Other graduates with Lahaina ties included Christopher Pico, Nick Lawson and Molokai’s Nate Fujimoto, who was a boarding student at Lahainaluna High School.

Special awards also went to Ryan Murakami as the Outstanding Skills recipient and to Kona Sarmiento for the Charles Iwata Spirit Award.

Rounding out Recruit Class 34 are Justin Aubrey, Koa Bonnell, Jarron Boswell, Jordan Boswell, Jared Calvan, Wangdu Hovey, Keoni Joyo, Micah McDonald, Kristian Nakamura, Keoki Nakoa, Carter Suzuki, John Van Scoy, Kai Warman and Nathan Wood.

Kanoa Shannon was the master of ceremonies and was joined at the podium by MFD Fire Chief David Thyne.

Guest speakers included Airports Fire Chief Glenn Mitchell, Maui Governor’s Representative Leah Belmonte, and Mayor’s Representative Mike Molina.

After lunch, Maui County Councilwoman Stacy Crivello and class guest speaker Capt. Kapala Novikoff also honored the graduates.

The 23 graduates of the 34th Recruit Class now begin their public service careers at stations and airports all across Maui County, from Hana to Lanai City to Kaunakakai and all points in between.

Congratulations and a heartfelt mahalo to all of you and to all of Maui’s first-responders.