NEWS | Nov. 6, 2017

8th Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii recognize Federal Firefighters

By Kristen Wong

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS -- The Federal Fire Department recognized nine of its personnel in a small ceremony at Fire Station 15, here, Nov. 1, 2017.

Maj. Gen. Susan A. Davidson, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jacinto Garza, senior enlisted adviser, 8th TSC, arrived first to congratulate the honorees, followed by Col. Stephen E. Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and Command Sgt. Maj. Lisa Piette-Edwards, senior enlisted adviser, USAG-HI.

Davidson said she hoped the fire department is mostly "bored" - meaning it doesn't have to respond to many emergencies - but was grateful for their professionalism as they conduct their duties.

On Aug. 24, five members of the Federal Fire Department provided aid to a Soldier who went into cardiac arrest and collapsed during physical training. Driver/operator Christopher Balmaceda and Lt. Shane Ching; firefighters Raymund Manuel and Kenny Amuro; and firefighter/paramedic Anthony Young were each honored with certificates and pins.

One of the pins had a number, which signified how many times the recipient had been recognized for a lifesaving action.

Additionally, four other members were presented with length of service certificates for their years working in the federal government. Balmaceda, firefighters Clinton Kitabayashi, Justin Sabio and Lt. Walter Ilagan received certificates and pins.

"You guys are just as much (a part of) the Army team as anybody else," Dawson said. "Those who live on the base can sleep well at night knowing that you guys are on the job and that you guys are going to come to the rescue if there's a fire or any kind of lifesaving required."

Dawson noted that this is the second time in 18 months that he has attended a ceremony in which members of the Federal Fire Department have been honored.

"We're proud of their accomplishments. That's what we're here to do; that's what they're trained to do," said Gregg Moriguchi, regional fire chief, Federal Fire Department. "It's a proud moment when we're able to apply our training and our experience and expertise to a situation. ... We respond to people's greatest time of need and we're able to make it better."