CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ridge B. Roy, right, shook the hand of Honolulu Fire Department Deputy Chief Alvin K. Tomita yesterday during a commendation ceremony at HFD's Charles H. Thurston Training Center. Roy applied the Heimlich maneuver to his choking brother in June and saved his life. The ceremony recognized citizens and firefighters who saved lives in various incidents.
Brave heroes draw HFD praise
His lips had started turning blue.
Agrifina Roy watched as her 13-year-son, Christopher, choked on a small cube of "bibingka," a Filipino coconut rice dessert, leftovers from a party celebrating his eighth-grade graduation in June.
She called 911 but could not calm down. She kept screaming, "Please! Help me!" to her neighbors in Kalihi.
But help came from her other son, 15-year-old Ridge. He grabbed the phone from his mother, followed the 911 operator's instructions and performed the Heimlich maneuver on his brother.
"I told myself to stay calm," said Ridge, a junior at Farrington High School. After two tries, Christopher coughed out the small cube, and firefighters arrived a few moments later.
Ridge was among 30 civilians and firefighters commended yesterday in the Honolulu Fire Department's biannual ceremony at HFD's Charles H. Thurston Training Center in honor of those who have saved others.
"I'm very proud," said Ridge's father, Francisco Roy.
Others commended were:
» James Crites, Benjamin Duffy, Blake Harrison, Reuben Silva, Eddie Weight and firefighter Cornelius Carmody for rescuing a man trapped in his truck that plunged into the Ala Wai Canal on June 9.
» James Duca, Michael Kawasaki and firefighters Todd Cabral, Charles Griep, Wesley Pratt and Troy Rickerby for rescuing a trapped occupant inside a burning home in Salt Lake on Jan. 30, 2006.
» Battalion Fire Chief Edward Hunter for rescuing a neighbor from her burning home in Makiki while off duty on July 8.
» Dane Johnasen for helping a neighbor climb out of a window of her burning Makakilo home on June 26.
» Lee Williams for helping an occupant and pet get out of a burning home in Kahaluu on March 14.
» Alfred Amasiu and Kenny Naehu for using a garden hose to extinguish a wildfire that threatened a home in Nanakuli on July 1.
» K.J. Wojciechowski for entering a smoke-filled unit in Waipahu and extinguishing a fire on July 6.
» Firefighters Edward Tauro and Neal Wong for helping to control an apartment fire in Makiki while off duty before units arrived on May 12.
» Coast Guard rescue personnel Scott Gordon, Dennis Kaczmarek and Jason Schelin for rescuing a distressed swimmer at a Kalaeloa beach on June 6.
» Galbraith Kawelo for using a personal vessel to transport emergency crews and equipment to a capsized boat in Kaneohe Bay on April 29.
» Firefighter Michael Chung for using a personal vessel to transport emergency crews and equipment to a capsized boat in Kaneohe Bay on April 6.
» Fire Capt. Brian Chang for leading a volunteer rescue group, including Troy Smith, in a search that successfully located an elderly Laie man who was missing for three days in April.
» Peter Neifert, a retired firefighter, for stabilizing a man in a motor vehicle accident until emergency personnel arrived in Kahaluu on May 5.
» Truel Kehl for applying the Heimlich maneuver to an unresponsive child before emergency personnel arrived in Pearl City on April 30.
» Firefighter Asa Tanaka for applying the Heimlich maneuver to a fellow passenger aboard a cruise ship in Alaska while off duty on May 29.