By Wendy Osher
The Maui Fire Department added 13 new firefighters to their ranks today. Members of the 27th recruit class graduated in a ceremony held at the Grand Wailea Resort.
A total of four recruit training awards were issued today based on written and functional skills course examinations, evaluations, and final examinations.
Earning honors for outstanding recruit was Ryan Short. The award is given to the recruit judged by the Recruit Training Officers to be the most outstanding in all phases of training, including displaying an excellent attitude, leadership ability and physical fitness.
Earning the award for Functional Skills Assessment was Kahekili Kaaa who demonstrated the most competency in Skill sets during the recruit training program.
The Academic award was issued to Charles Eckhart for earning the highest scholastic average for all Course Examinations administered throughout the recruit training program. Eckhart had a total of seven perfect test scores out of 27 tests. He recorded a cumulative score of 85.6%, which is only 4 tenths of a percent higher than the next recruit. Recruit Training Officers commended Eckhart for the accomplishment saying it was done with the birth of his twin sons during one of the hardest times of the class. Eckhart is also a helicopter pilot in the National Guard and needed to complete dual obligations during his training with the Maui Fire Department.
A final Ho’oulu Award was issued to Nikolai Reuss. The award was created in memory of the late Maui Firefighter Captain Charles Iwata who died in November of 2004 after a battle with cancer.
Other members of the 27th MFD Recruit Class include: Darrell Aea, Kunihi Boeche, Jay Duquette, Michael Grimes, J.B. Guard, Jack Smith and John Tualemoso. Also graduating today were Crescent Gumanas and Bryan Takeo with the State Firefighter program.