Surfers, civilians, firefighters honored for bravery - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Surfers, civilians, firefighters honored for bravery

Robin Bond Jr. & Joshua Echemendia Robin Bond Jr. & Joshua Echemendia
Igor Lumertz Igor Lumertz

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – "Outstanding bravery" and "exceptional acts of service" were recognized Wednesday as three big wave surfers were given the Honolulu Fire Department's Civilian Medal of Valor and several others received Certificates of Commendation.

Fire Chief Kenneth Silva presented the Medals of Valor to Robin Bond Jr., Joshua Echemendia, and Igor Lumertz. On January 11, 2011 the three veteran North Shore surfers rescued a body boarder who lost his board after going into monster surf alone at night at Waimea Bay. "At great personal risk, these three men entered the hazardous surf at night and brought the exhausted surfer safely to shore," the fire department said in a press release.

The civilian Medal of Valor is given to those who distinguish themselves by means of outstanding bravery and at the risk of their own lives. It is the highest honor the HFD can bestow upon a member of the public.

Anthony Scheffel, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, is one of six people who were given a Certificate of Commendation. On October 2, 2010 Scheffel extinguished a vehicle fire in the Hirano Tunnel by utilizing a hose from the tunnel's wet hose cabinet.

On December 22, 2010 off-duty Honolulu Fire Fighter Jason Park and Federal Fire Department Fire Fighter Calvin Pascua and Fire Engineer Christopher Wamberg controlled a building fire by utilizing garden hoses prior to the fire department's arrival.

On December 31, 2010 Cheryl Acorda-Magaoay and Carlos Arucan controlled a building fire by utilizing garden hoses.

On February 12, 2011 off-duty Honolulu fire fighter Mitchell Pang came to the aid of a choking person on food at an Oahu Costco. Pang dislodged the obstruction by using the Heimlich maneuver and administered CPR.

A Certificate of Commendation honors those who have subjected themselves to personal risk by performing exceptional acts of service or bravery.

For more on the rescue at Waimea Bay, see the video to the upper right of this story.

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