Local academy helps nearly 100 potential recruits prepare for firefighter exam

The Oahu Prep Academy had about 90 men and women sign up to take their practice exam on Saturday.
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 4:58 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 6, 2022 at 5:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly one hundred potential firefighter recruits are preparing for the Honolulu Fire Department’s entrance recruit exam next week.

The Oahu Prep Academy had about 90 men and women signed up to take their practice exam on Saturday.

The academy is run by six retired fire captains.

Retired Fire Captain Curtis Aiwohi said they’re trying to help fill the need for new hires as the department continually has firefighters leaving the job.

“Yes, COVID had a part to play with people deciding to get in or to retire early and take care of their families,” said Aiwohi. “But it’s something that we’ve grown to live with nowadays and we have strategies in place to be safe as we do the job.

The academy is in its 14th year and said the response from those looking into pursue a career as a firefighter has been overwhelming.

Their program includes study sessions. They also train the group on every step of the hiring process.

“We help them with the next step, which is the agility and the swim, they pass that then we help with the interview process, and hopefully by the end [they] get hired by the fire department,” added Aiwohi.

Kaanoi Poouahi went through the academy in 2018 and he said it helped him pursue a career as a federal firefighter.

“I’ve been trying to get into the fire department since I was got out of high school,” said Poouahi. “And they really helped me out with test strategies and just fueling that fire under me to become a firefighter.

Aiwohi said the Oahu Fire Prep Academy is looking to expand their program to the outer islands.

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