Heroes among us

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Kauai Fire Department, Mayor Derek Kawakami, American Medical Response, Kaulana Finn, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s Kauai representative, and recipients of the Kahea Mauliola Continuum of Care commendation celebrate a $2,000 contribution to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, represented by Samira Siale and Tim Takeshita Monday during the Kahea Mauliola recognition ceremony at the Moikeha Building.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Community heroes are recognized by, from left, Kauai Fire Assistant Chief Kilipaki Vaugh, Mayor Derek Kawakami, Firefighter I Makana Denton, Firefighter II Ben Ferris, Firefighter IIINicholas Pananganan, Fire Captain Ryan Washburn, Dispatcher Sarah Louxz, Dispatcher Christina Chong Tim, EMT Lisa Johnshoy-Prinzing, MICT Eric Ishida, DJ Pabre, Makaela Peralta,Jason Peralta, and Kaulana Finn.

LIHUE — Jason Peralta was glad he didn’t leave Clem Gomes Gym at Waimea High School on May 9.

“My daughter Mikaela walked over from the Waimea Canyon Middle School, and there were a bunch of things that needed to be doing,” he said Monday.

Jason and Mikaela Peralta were part of a group recognized with the “Kahea Mauliola Continuum of Care” award for their actions that saved the life of a Waimea man. The Kauai Fire Department held a special ceremony at the Lihue Civic Center’s Mo‘ikeha courtyard

Waimea firefighters were dispatched shortly before 4 p.m. when Dino Pabre was reported as unresponsive. Pabre had been participating in a basketball scrimmage at the Waimea High School gym when he collapsed and stopped breathing.

Firefighters found him in the gym being attended to by an off-duty firefighter from the Pacific Missile Range Facility — Jason Peralta — administering CPR with the help of his daughter Mikaela, and the victim’s son DJ Pabre.

Mikaela ran to the car to grab a pocket mask, and once the mask was applied, DJ Pabre provided rescue breaths to his father until first responders arrived.

“The immediate actions of our community members and first responders involved saved the life of Mr. Pabre,” said Kilipaki Vaughn, deputy fire chief. “We recognize and thank each individual for their role in this remarkable rescue.”

Firefighters and American Medical Response medics — Eric Ishida and Lisa Johnshoy-Prinzing — took over CPR, applied an AED, and provided further life support.

“Everything kind of all fell into place,” Johnshoy-Prinzing said.

Efforts continued until Pabre regained consciousness and was transported to Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Those efforts were celebrated with Kahea Mauliola Continuum of Care certificates and congratulations.

Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami, noting the intersection of all the involved people to save a life, acknowledged DJ’s efforts, especially.

“When I was a senior in high school, my dad suffered a major heart attack,” Kawakami said. “That was a pivotal point in my life, and from that day on, whenever I had to say goodbye to my dad, I gave him a big hug. DJ, I can only imagine your experience on that scary day in May. On behalf of the County of Kauai, and Ni‘ihau, I extend to you, Jason, Mikaela, and all of our first responders my sincere appreciation for your bravery and your service. Your response is a testament to the heart of our community, and especially our West Kauai ‘ohana.”

Honorees also included Waimea Station 7’s Fire Capt. Ryan Washburn, Fire Fighter III Nicholas Pananganan, Fire Fighter I Ben Ferris, Fire Fighter I Makana Denton, and Dispatchers Christina Chong Tim, Sarah Louxz, and Souci Sayegusa.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.