HFD honors community heroes, awards posthumous Civilian Medal of Valor

Local News

An Oahu man who gave his life to save another man from drowning was posthumously honored by the Honolulu Fire Department Thursday.

On May 20, Roy Price Jr. was at Sand Island State Park when he noticed a swimmer in the water who needed help. Price jumped in and helped the man to shore.

But while swimming back, Price got caught in a current and didn’t make it.

“That’s just the type of person he was. I’m not surprised the decisions he made,” said nephew Evan Price. “It hurt a lot, but knowing that he did something to save another life really helps.”

Price was posthumously awarded with the department’s Civilian Medal of Valor, which is given to members of the public who go above and beyond to help others.

Several others received Certificates of Commendation for their “exceptional acts of service or bravery”:

On Nov. 13, 2017, while dining at a restaurant, Dr. Sandra Garrard, Tyler Klein, and Angela Yonamine witnessed a 79-year-old person become unresponsive at a nearby table. Klein and Yonamine assisted the person to the floor and began chest compressions. Garrard attempted two rescue breaths and swept the person’s mouth twice to dislodge pieces of food. All three stayed with the person until HFD and Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived.

On Nov. 14, 2017, while onshore at Sunset Beach, David Siler and John Thompson heard cries for help from the ocean. They noticed two swimmers being swept into the ocean by a large wave and pulled out by a rip current. Siler and Thompson paddled out with their surfboards during adverse weather and water conditions to assist the swimmers.  The two distressed swimmers were brought back safely to shore.

On Nov. 18, 2017, the Ewa Beach Fire Station responded to an activated alarm from an Ewa Beach home.  Although the crew did not initially see smoke or fire, they investigated further and found increasing smoke from inside the structure.  Fire Fighter (FF) III Edgar Ortega Jr. and FF II Dominic Badis and Dustin Yamamoto bravely risked their own lives as they forcibly entered the structure to fight flames, heat, and smoke inside the home.  The firefighters were able to fight the fire from the home’s kitchen and rescue a prone victim in a nearby hallway.  The crew brought the victim outside safely, continued to fight the fire, and made more trips into the home to ensure no other victims were inside.

On Dec. 8, 2017, while tending to his management duties at a local supermarket, Curtis Hasuike discovered that a fellow employee had collapsed in one of the store’s storage areas. He proceeded with bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation as 911 was called and the HFD arrived to provide further assistance.

On Jan. 9, 2018, after a fire ignited in his family’s kitchen, 7-year-old Adrian Guan saw flames and alerted his mother and brother.  He helped them to stay low and go and evacuate to their meeting place outside their apartment.  The 7-year-old was also able to communicate with the firefighters, as his mother had difficulty conversing in English.  Resident manager Timothy Adams quickly reacted.  After ensuring no one was in the apartment, he gathered several extinguishers and contained the fire to the fan of the kitchen range hood. 

On Feb. 9, 2018, while walking his dog, Alan Masuda came upon an elderly woman who had fallen outside her home. After determining she had possibly broken her pelvis or hip, he helped her find a safe position and contacted 911. Masuda sat and supported the woman while awaiting the EMS’ arrival.

On Feb. 18 and 25, 2018, flash flooding occurred along Kamehameha Highway and drivers were stranded in stalled vehicles. During both incidents, Richard Garcia used his backhoe to reach stranded motorists. He assisted a total of five people who were all able to evacuate the flooded areas without needing medical assistance.

On April 7, 2018, while at an apartment swimming pool, 11-year-old Kapono Kolo noticed a motionless 4-year-old child under water.  He took hold of the child and brought her to the side of the pool. Off-duty firefighter Erik-Phuong Le, was at the pool and heard Kolo’s call for help and quickly responded along with an unidentified bystander. Le was able to begin CPR on the near-drowning victim and stopped when she began to breathe on her own.

On April 8, 2018, while asleep in his apartment, Masahiro Kia awoke to smoke and flames before rushing upstairs to wake his mother and her friend, Michael Camara. Kia and Camara began to extinguish the fire using the apartment’s house line and extinguisher prior to the HFD’s arrival.

On June 3, 2018, while driving and stopping at a traffic light, off-duty firefighter Kevin Ho, witnessed another driver run a red light and pull over to the median. Ho immediately pulled his own vehicle over and saw that the driver was unresponsive. He quickly moved the driver to the ground and began CPR along with off-duty nurse, Lorie Silva, who witnessed the events, assessed the patient, and assisted with CPR.

On July 7, 2018, after observing a neighbor’s stovetop on fire, Jason Admire rushed to get a fire extinguisher and began to extinguish the fire. The homeowner used the kitchen range to sanitize baby bottles, left the area unattended, and it began to catch fire. Admire’s quick response led to extinguishing the fire with minimal damage to the home and no medical injuries.

On July 8, 2018, while traveling along a busy street, off-duty firefighter David Jones found an elderly male patient on the road. He quickly assessed the situation and determined the patient had been hit twice by two separate cars. With the assistance of responding Honolulu Police Department officers, Jones applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and stabilized the patient’s head and neck prior to the HFD’s arrival.

On July 14, 2018, while returning home, Brent Osborne and his 11-year-old son, Jayden Fontanilla-Viernes, smelled smoke. Initially, Osborne could not see any fire or smoke around his property, but after conducting a second check of the area, he discovered a fire on his neighbor’s back porch. Osborne reacted quickly by directing his son to pass their garden hose to him over the fence to extinguish the fire. Their combined efforts resulted in stopping the fire from spreading further.

On July 21, 2018, while off duty, fire Capt. Jay Peloso noticed an unresponsive male, assessed the situation, and began bystander CPR. He provided chest compressions while another bystander, Blythe Yamada, provided ventilations, and a third unidentified person assisted. The three worked together and continued CPR prior to the HFD’s arrival.

From Aug. 4 to 8, 2018, while HFD was battling brush fires in Waianae and Makaha, the Kon family (Mana, Noe, and Brianna Holt) and the Kawelo family (Renee, Precious, and Destiny) demonstrated tremendous support and efforts for HFD personnel during the week-long fire. Their care and attention to detail in the preparation and handling of an overwhelming amount of provisions donated to the fire station by the public that would have otherwise been tasked to firefighters allowed all available fire personnel to focus on their fire fighting efforts.

On Aug. 21, 2018, Capt. Stephen Leverkuhn, Sgt. 1st CIass Robby Batongtong, and Staff Sgt. Christopher Doyle pulled an unconscious person from a burning vehicle prior to the HFD’s arrival.

On Sept. 30, 2018, while off duty, HPD officers Reynwood Makishi and Tani Takushi witnessed an 18-month-old girl fall into a lake.  The officers pulled her from the lake and began CPR.  After she gained consciousness, the officers escorted her and her family to awaiting EMS personnel.

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