HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two Hawaii first responders were honored on the Big Island on Tuesday.
South Hilo Patrol Officer Joshua Willing was named 2020 Officer of the Year by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii.
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Officer Willing was honored for rescuing two children who got stranded in the Wailuku River during a flash flood last April.
Willing got swept away during the rescue, but managed to get out safely with the children. The Big Island patrol officer has been with the Hawaii Police Department for five years.
Hawaii Fire Department Battalion Chief Keoki Brown was also honored on Tuesday as the 2020 Firefighter of the Year.
He was recognized for his work launching and spearheading the Department’s COVID-19 task force.
“I had the easy part of it,” said Brown. “I was just taking care of stuff within the department. I don’t really think I deserve this award, but I really do appreciate it.”
Brown has been a firefighter with the department for 21 years.