LIHUE — Kahai Hosaka always wanted to be a firefighter, said Kauai Fire Chief Robert Westerman.
Kahai’s dream came true Thursday as he received his Kauai Fire Department badge, a symbol of successfully completing the Recruit Class requirements, from his father, Battalion Chief Shawn Hosaka, and Fire Captain Neal Hosaka. A cousin, another firefighter, was also in the audience.
Kahai was one of five graduates from the 26th Recruit Class receiving badges and congratulations.
The five new firefighters include Chase Crane, Travis Miyazaki, Abraham Mohr, Dylan James, and Kahai.
“Kahai has always wanted to be a firefighter so he can help saves lives and help give back to the community,” Westerman said. “His Hosaka family of firefighters does not include the Hosaka members who also serve with the Oahu fire department.”
Dylan James was a water safety officer before moving into the Recruit Class, Westerman said, describing the Kauai High School and Kauai Community College graduate as a “convert.”
“While working with the Ocean Safety Bureau as a lifeguard, he realized how he enjoyed helping people,” Westerman said. “He saw firsthand how valuable firefighters are, and knew that being a firefighter is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.”
Travis Miyazaki was a teacher at the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School before accepting his firefighter badge.
“This is something he wanted to do,” said his father, Reynold Miyazaki. “He was in education like his mother, retired principal Glenda Miyazaki, but he felt he could serve the community better as a firefighter.”
Abraham Mohr moved to Kauai when he was 16 years old from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After leaving for college after high school, Mohr returned to Kauai, where he likes the excitement and training that being a firefighter provides. Westerman said Mohr enjoys giving back to the community and being part of a team that is always helping people.
Chase Crane, moving here with his family from Pismo Beach, California, said firefighting is a great career because it allows you an opportunity to help people in need and give back to the community.