Commending our first responders and firefighters
by Lt Governor James "Duke" Aiona
As part of the 31st Annual Hawai‘i Fire Chiefs Association Conference in Kona, I joined our first responder and fire response community to praise and thank them for keeping Hawai‘i safe.
These people are real heroes. They may not think of themselves as such, but others look to them for strength – not only in their jobs, but also in their family and community.
I’ve heard so many wonderful stories about these men and women. For example, Dr. Frank Sayre and Laura Mallery-Sayre experienced first-hand the heroism of the Hawai‘i Fire Department when they lost their son in a hiking accident in Polulu Valley.
The Hawai‘i Fire Department did not have rappelling ropes long enough to reach the bottom of the valley, so firefighters flew a helicopter into the narrow terrain at great personal risk.
Since then, Frank and Laura, motivated by the bravery and heroism of the firefighters, began the Daniel Sayre Foundation to raise money to buy equipment for the Hawai‘i Fire Department. Their efforts have been met with resounding success in the community, as they have raised more than $400,000 to provide essential life-saving equipment and training for our firefighters.
Frank and Laura’s story is inspiring, and the source of that inspiration is our firefighters. I am grateful they have turned the tragic loss of their son into a positive initiative that significantly assists these heroes.
Our firefighters and first responders know their risks and they know what they must sacrifice. Still, they not only jump into action, they do it with complete commitment and a great passion. It is not just work for them; it is their calling.
These men and women prove to our residents and communities every day that they’re the most skilled, the toughest and the most selfless.
It is also important that we recognize their families for the sacrifices they make for all the people of Hawai‘i.
That is why I encourage our residents and communities to support and thank our first responders, fire fighters and their families for helping all of the people of Hawai‘i keep safe.