Maui News

28 Firefighters Graduate from Maui Fire Department’s 31st Recruit Class

August 14, 2015, 4:30 PM HST
* Updated August 14, 4:34 PM
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MFD 31st Recruit class.  Photo credit: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety.

MFD 31st Recruit class. Photo credit: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety.

By Maui Now Staff

The Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety celebrated the graduation of its 31st Recruit Class on Friday, July 31, 2015 at the Fairmont Kea Lani Resort in Wailea.

After 28 weeks of physical training, academic study, and practical skills training in medical, rescue and firefighting tactics, 28 Firefighters received their official badges in a pinning ceremony.

The 31st Recruit Class was a made up of 14 firefighters that will now be joining the ranks of the State of Hawaiʻi, Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting division at the various airports throughout the state. The new state firefighters include: Justin Arruda; Damien Boone; Chase Carveiro; Karl Fryxell; Kyle Kawabata; Kealoha Kramer; Michael McMahon; Sean McNairy; Vaughn Meatoga; Kaioluhia Miguel-Hamakua; Newton Miller; Brandon Nerpio; John Paulo; and Kyle Steinke.

The other 14 firefighter graduates will be assigned to Maui County fire stations on the islands of Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi. They include: James Case; Jeremy Evert; Isaiah Guth; Nathanael Ham; Chase Johnson; Evan Johnson; Stephen Kroon; Lee Moyers; Vietnam Nguyen; Ian Pascua; La’akea Poepoe; Tay Soares; Bryan Staubitser; and Jonathan Takitani.


During the ceremony, graduating recruits were presented awards recognizing those who displayed excellence in the following categories.

  • Most Outstanding, Overall – Bryan Staubitser, (MFD):  Chosen by the Recruit Training Officers, this award is presented to the recruit that excelled in every phase of training and demonstrated outstanding attitude, leadership ability, and peak physical fitness.
  • Most Outstanding, Academics – Chase Johnson, (MFD): Presented to the recruit with the highest scholastic average for all course examinations administered throughout recruit training.
  • Most Outstanding, Functional Skills – Justin Arruda, (State ARFF): Presented to the recruit who demonstrated the greatest competency in their functional skills assessments throughout recruit training.
  • Firefighter Spirit, Ho’ulu Award – Jeremy Evert, (MFD): Named in honor of the late Captain Charles Iwata, this award recognizes the true passion and firefighter spirit that Captain Iwata was so widely known for. The award is presented to the recruit that has demonstrated exceptional character, attitude, behavior, respect, and heart towards others and the firefighting profession.
  • Most Outstanding, Team – Stephen Kroon, (MFD) & Michael McMahon, (State ARFF): Given to the two-man team who demonstrated the ability to work through hands-on drills with the greatest of expedience and efficiency.

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