The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi presented their Annual Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year Awards on Monday.
Honorees were Police Officer II Daniel Tam and Firefighter Chas Taketa.
On February 12, 2018, Officer Tam was assigned to a reported theft in the Eden Roc Subdivision where several generators and tools were reported to have been stolen. He conducted neighborhood checks to develop any leads in the case and through his determined efforts a suspect was apprehended. In making the arrest, he recovered all the stolen property along with marijuana and 24-rounds of ammunition from the suspect’s backpack.
On February 18, 2018, Officer Tam was recognized for his heroic efforts in a structure fire in Hawaiian Paradise Park. He entered the heavily smoke-filled house with Officer Tristin Allen to ensure no persons were inside, and in doing so, they encountered a 75-year-old man and directed him out to safety. He then put out the flames from a propane-fueled stove in the kitchen area putting his own life in danger.
Officer Tam displays outstanding investigative skills in his daily police work and has earned the respect of his co-workers and the community he serves.
Firefighter of the Year Chas Taketa is a Fire Medical Specialist II.
In July of 2018, he voluntarily transitioned from Station 14 where he worked as a Paramedic attached to Medic 14 and Chopper 2 to the Training Bureau. There he prepared for the latest Recruit Class by developing the physical Training curriculum and scheduled much of the coursework for the class. This was a hands-on process that he took upon himself to do the workouts that he was prescribing for the Recruit Class before putting the recruits through their paces.
On August 16, 2018, the 46th Recruit Class commenced with the recruits being welcomed to the Hawaiʻi County Fire Department. FMS Taketa was responsible for structuring and scheduling the training sessions as well as leading the classroom instruction. To accomplish this, he periodically worked early and often stayed well past the duty day to ensure he was prepared for the following day’s training session.
His dedication to the Department in his role as Recruit Training Officer has had a positive impact on the next generation of Firefighters and is evident in the progress the recruits have made under his guidance in addition to the respect they have for their instructor.
Officer of the Year” Daniel Tam (L) “Firefighter of the Year” Chas Taketa (R). Courtesy photo.