HILO, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Island police officer and a firefighter were both honored in recent ceremonies for their leadership and heroic efforts.
The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii named South Hilo Patrol Officer Joshua Willing as officer of the year and Hawaii Fire Department Battalion Chief Keoki Brown as firefighter of the year.
In April of 2020, Willing rescued two children who were stranded on a rock outcropping in Wailuku River during flash flooding. During the rescue, he ended up getting swept away and submerged under water but managed to get the children and parent back to safety.
Willing, who has been with the department for five years, was also previously named officer of the month for April 2020.
Meanwhile, Brown was recognized for his work launching and spearheading Hawaii Fire Department’s COVID-19 task force. That involved developing internal procedures and implementing contact tracing protocols.
Brown has been with HFD for 21 years.
Normally, the Aloha Exchange Club holds one formal luncheon for both awardees, but due to the pandemic, separate ceremonies were held in late March.