LIHUE — The Kauai Fire Department recently held a special ceremony to promote six firefighters and welcome five new firefighters at the Lihue Civic Center’s Mo‘ikeha courtyard.
“This is an end of an era for the Kauai Fire Department, as by the end of the year the department will lose many of its senior personnel,” said Deputy Fire Chief Kilipaki Vaughan.
Included in the department’s list of retirees are Battalion Chiefs Albert Kaui and Shawn Hosaka, both of whom retired on Nov. 30 after over 30 years of service.
“Of course with endings come new beginnings,” said Vaughan.
“And we acknowledge many new beginnings today,” said Fire Chief Robert Westerman. “We honor and celebrate these 11 individuals for their hard work, dedication, and perseverance through the many challenges they faced to get here.”
The following individuals received promotional pins: Dean Lake, Timothy Stokesbary, Ehren Edwards, Justin Kinoshita, Kaleo Saiki and Elijah Frank.
• Lake was promoted to Assistant Chief of Fire Operations. Lake has served in KFD for 22 years and prior to his promotion he worked as Fire Captain at the Kapa‘a fire station. He has been involved with KFD’s grant program and has helped the department acquire equipment and training. He thanks his ‘ohana including his wife Peggy, daughter Megan, and parents Mickey and Bonnie Lake.
• Stokesbary was promoted to Fire Captain. Stokesbary has served in KFD for 22 years, with his latest assignment as Firefighter III at the Koloa fire station. He has served as a United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) Instructor and a Helicopter Egress Instructor. He thanks his wife Phoebe, ‘ohana and friends for their support. Stokesbary is now assigned to the Hanapēpē fire station.
• Edwards was promoted to Fire Captain. Edwards has served in KFD for 18 years and previously served as Firefighter III at the Lihue fire station. He has served as an instructor for trainings on Initial Fire Attack, Burn Trailer, Vehicle Extrication, and Swift Water Rescue. He thanks his children Waileia, Nahe, Liko, and Kala, his parents, and his wife Leah. Edwards is now assigned to the Hanapepe fire station.
• Kinoshita was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Service Trainer. Kinoshita has served in KFD for 11 years, with his previous assignment as Firefighter II, Rescue Specialist. His contributions to KFD include working on the procurement of Firefighter Turnout Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as serving in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. He thanks his girlfriend Ki‘inani and children Kaiea and Madison. Kinoshita is now assigned to the KFD Training Bureau.
• Saiki was promoted to Firefighter III, Fire Inspector. Saiki has served in KFD for 10 years, with his previous assignment at the Lihue fire station. He has served as Driver Trainer, Peer Fitness Instructor, Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Technician, Fire Ground Survival Instructor, Fall Prevention Inspector, and Prevention Fire Safety Trailer Instructor. He thanks his ‘ohana, girlfriend Lianne Manuel, sons Keahi and Ka‘olu, and daughter Kanoe. Saiki is now assigned to the KFD Prevention Bureau.
• Frank was promoted to Firefighter II, Rescue Specialist. Frank has served in KFD for 8 years, with his most recent assignment as Firefighter I at the Hanalei fire station. He has also assisted in the CERT Program as an instructor for the past three years. Frank thanks his wife Kaleolani, children Keale, Po‘iwena and Ha‘ehunalu, and his parents Debbie Lynn and Bernard Frank. He is now assigned to Rescue at the Lihue fire station.
Tyler Costa, Chandler Forrest, Justin Kanoho, Johnathan Martin, and Avelino Ruvalcaba comprise the 27th Recruit Class for the Kauai Fire Department.
All honorees were joined by their family and friends for the ceremonial pinning of badges.