Training academy aims to inspire Hawaii’s next wave of firefighters

For first responders, proper training is critical.
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 5:22 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 9, 2022 at 5:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For prospective firefighters, hands-on training isn’t readily available, but the Hoomau Fire Academy aims to meet that need.

Started by veteran Federal Firefighters, the academy is centered on teaching Hawaii’s next generation of firefighters and emergency personnel.

“Everybody knows there’s an exam for the Honolulu Fire Department, what is there available as far as the Federal Fire Department or the state crash fire rescue?,” said Hoomau Fire Academy president Reid Shimabukuro. “There’s several different departments out there and our goal is to get kids hired in any of these departments.”

With more than 30 years experience as a federal firefighter, Shimabukuro turned his calling into a career and classes are taught by longtime veterans.

“It’s important to surround yourself with the people you want to be like,” said Hoomau Fire Academy cadet Laulii Iosefa. “To me, it’s like, I want to be around these people because I want to get into the department. I want to one day become chief or captain just like them.”

Instruction isn’t only in the field as a large chunk of the curriculum is focused on resume building, job interview training, and leadership.

“Everybody struggles at something, but it’s kind of cool to see everybody come around that one guy and kind of help him out,” said Hoomau Fire Academy cadet Chaylor Castro. “That’s what I like to be a part of.”

Hoomau welcomes a range of students from high school to college graduates and the hope is it ignites inspiration for Hawaii’s youth as the need to be on the front lines will always exist.

“I think what the Hoomau Fire Academy brings to the community is that this is one thing that we can offer your son or your daughter and hopefully launch their career,” Shimabukuro said.

Shimabukuro says they are working to bring some tutorials to high schools around the state.

Enrollment for this month’s academy is full, but to sign up for a future class, click here.