Kauai News

Fire Department Graduates 31st Recruit Class

Posted May 13, 2022, 5:00 PM HST ·Updated May 13, 3:12 PM

The Kaua‘i Fire Department held a special ceremony Friday, welcoming 11 new firefighters at the Līhu‘e Civic Center’s Mo‘ikeha courtyard.

Richard Anacan, Rajan Baliaris-Slavi, Steven Genualdi, Paul Haraguchi, Shea Hardy, Brenden Hew, Malek Hurd, Jake Leake, Marvin Lum, Micah Mokulehua, and Aaron Norris comprise KFD’s 31st Recruit Class.

“I am honored as the deputy fire chief to present your son, brother, husband, companion, and father as the newest members of the Kaua‘i fire department,” said Deputy Fire Chief Michael Gibson.

Friday’s ceremony began with an Honor Guard detail. Deputy Chief Gibson led attendees in the Kaua‘i firefighters’ prayer, then called upon Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami.

“It is a tremendous honor to be a public servant, a first responder, someone who runs toward danger and provides a shield around our community,” said Mayor Kawakami. “On behalf of the office of the Mayor, the people of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, we want to congratulate the recruits on your pinning today. We want to especially thank your friends and family for their tremendous sacrifice to allow you to serve our island.”

The ceremony continued with the ceremonial pinning of badges in front of an audience of their family and friends.

Richard Anacan was born and raised in Kaimuki on O‘ahu and lives in Kīlauea. He has been a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines for 10 years.

Richard would like to thank his wife and family for their continued support as he chased his dream of becoming a firefighter. He thanks his brothers of RC31 for their uplift and positivity day in and day out. He says thank you to all the trainers and KFD personnel through this whole class who instilled their knowledge in us and gifted us this opportunity.

Firefighter Anacan is assigned to Station 7 Waimea under the command of Capt. Sean Kitamura. Richard is being pinned by his wife Lea, daughter Aila Jean, and stepson Logan.

Rajan Baliaris – Salvi was born and raised in Kaua’i and graduated from Kapa‘a High school. Rajan resides in Wailua Houselots. He is 28 and has three beautiful children with his wife, Katie. Before joining the Kaua‘i Fire Department, Rajan was with the State of Hawai‘i Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Department and worked as an electrician.

He would like to thank the Kaua‘i Fire Department for the opportunity to serve the island of Kaua‘i. Rajan sends a very special mahalo to his ohana for their support.

Firefighter Baliaris-Salvi is assigned to Station 5 Kālaheo under the command of Capt. Kekoa Dizol. Rajon is Being pinned by his wife, Katie.

Steven Genualdi was born and raised in Morristown, New Jersey, and now lives in Wailua Homesteads. He was previously employed by the Honolulu Fire Department. Steven Would like to thank the Kaua‘i Fire Department for this opportunity and all the trainers and cadre members who helped during recruit training. He would like to thank his friends and family.

Firefighter Genualdi is assigned to Station 5 Kālaheo under the command of Capt. Nicholas Pananganan. Steven is being pinned by his girlfriend, Alanna.

Paul Haraguchi was born in Kaua‘i, raised in Hanalei, and now lives in Kīlauea. Prior to being hired by Kaua‘i Fire Department, Paul grew up working on his family’s taro farm and worked for the Princeville resort. Paul would like to thank his wife Ashlee, daughter Kynlee, son Tomio, family, and friends for their support during recruit training. He would also like to thank the Kaua‘i Fire Department, Training Bureau staff, and the various personnel that has helped prepare us. He is very honored to serve the island of Kaua‘i.

Firefighter Haraguchi is assigned to Station 5 Kālaheo under the command of Capt. Nicholas Pananganan. Paul is Being pinned by his wife, Ashlee Haraguchi.

Shea Hardy was born and raised in Kaua‘i and lives in Līhu‘e. Shea would like to thank his family and friends for their endless love and support. Before being hired by the Kaua‘i Fire Department, he worked for the County of Kaua‘i Department of Parks and Recreation as a pool guard. He is grateful for being a part of the Kaua‘i fire department.

Firefighter Hardy is assigned to Station 5 Kālaheo, under the command of Capt. Micah Mokuahi. Shea is being pinned by his father, Robert.

Brenden Hew is 33 years old, married, and has six children. Brenden is from the Westside of Kaua‘i and lives in ‘Ele‘ele. He would like to thank the Kaua‘i Fire Department for the training, support, and the opportunity to be a part of this team.

Firefighter Hew is assigned to Station 4 Kōloa under the command of Capt. Francisco Garcia. Brenden is being pinned by his wife, Sunni Hew.

Malek Hurd was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up throughout the United States and Hawai’i. Malek now lives in Kālaheo. Prior to being hired by KFD, Malek worked on O‘ahu for the City and County of Honolulu EMS department. Malek says it has been a lifelong dream to become a Firefighter, and he takes great pride in being able to represent the Island of Kaua‘i. He would like to thank all the people who have helped and mentored him throughout his life to prepare him to serve Kaua‘i’s people. He couldn’t have done it without the love and support of his one and only Nisha and newborn son Makua.

Firefighter Hurd is assigned to Station 4 Kōloa under the command of Capt. Aaron Hawthorne. Malek is being pinned by his wife, Nisha.

Jake Leake was born and raised in South Jordan, Utah, and graduated from Kaua‘i High School. Jake now lives in Līhu‘e. Prior to joining KFD, Jake was a full-time bartender and coached fitness and sports. Jake would like to thank his family, RC 31, and all of the dedicated trainers for your love, support, and knowledge. It is an honor to serve the community of Kaua’i.

Firefighter Leake is assigned to Station 4 Kōloa under the command of Capt. Ryan Washburn. Jake is being pinned by his wife and best friend, Erin Leake.

Kainoa Lum was born and raised on the island of Kaua‘i, graduated from Kapa‘a High School, and currently resides in Wailua. Prior to becoming a recruit, Kainoa was a part of the Ocean Safety Bureau for 12 and a half years. He would like to thank his wife Mariko, family, friends, fellow recruit classmates, training bureau staff, and KFD personnel who have shared their knowledge and prepared us to best serve our Kaua’i community.

Firefighter Lum is assigned to Station 2 Kapa‘a under the command of Capt. Gavin Kennelly. Kainoa is being pinned by his wife, Mariko, who is his biggest supporter.

MICAH MOKULEHUA was born and raised in Waimanalo, O‘ahu, and now resides in Wailua. He was previously a student at Chaminade University and studied Environmental Studies and Psychology. Micah would like to thank everyone who’s been a part of this new journey and for all their love and support. He’d also like to thank KFD for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He is beyond excited to serve this community of Kaua‘i.

Firefighter Mokulehua is assigned to Station 2 Kapa‘a under the command of Capt. Ronald Bush. Micah is being pinned by his father, John Mokulehua.

Aaron Norris was born and raised on the North Shore of Kaua‘i and now lives in Kapa‘a. Aaron worked as a firefighter on the island of Hawai‘i prior to joining Kaua‘i Fire Department. He thanks KFD for the opportunity to be a part of their prestigious department. He also thanks his family, which supports him in everything he does.

Firefighter Norris is assigned to Station 7 Waimea under the command of Capt. Dan Hirata. Aaron is being pinned by his father, Bill Norris.

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