Survivor Reunions

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services and Honolulu Ocean Safety have played a vital role in countless survivor stories throughout its rich history.

Read Their Stories

Below are just a few of the many survivor stories that have been documented with reunions throughout the years. If you would like to reunite with the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services and/or the Honolulu Ocean Safety crews who responded to your emergency, please send an email with your contact information to All the stories below were shared with the patient’s permission.

John Steffens

Story: In June 2019, Pearl City Resident John Steffens experienced chest pain and called 911 from his apartment for help. Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Dispatcher Pam Lum answered his 911 call, keeping him calm and directing him on what to do prior to the arrival of EMS. Paramedic Mike Chan arrived with his partner and started life-saving treatment before transporting Steffens to the emergency room. Three months after the incident the EMS team reunited with Steffens and he got a chance to thank them for saving his life.
Watch John's Story

Harry “Didi” Robello

In August 2019, Harry "Didi" Robello was surfing a big south swell in Waikīkī. When he was paddling back to shore, the long-time beach boy began feeling tired and waved to lifeguard Raynold Quinores for help. Robello went unconscious in the ocean. With veteran lifeguard Lamakani Holt, Quinores rescued Robello and brought him to shore. Onshore, lifeguards began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and with the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Paramedics Shaun Takeshita and Leighton Takara, they revived Robello. Shortly after, the rescuers were reunited with Robello down in Waikīkī, where he continues to work and surf.
Read Didi's Story

Olivia Numanga

In October 2019, six-year old Olivia was riding her bicycle near her home in Lāʻie when she was hit by a car. Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Paramedic Felimon Juliano, Emergency Medical Technician Daniel Deanda with the Honolulu Fire Department responded to the little girl who was not breathing. Working together, they were able to resuscitate her. Juliano continued to keep her alive en route to the Queens Medical Center. A month later, with her parents, the family met the crews that responded to her call and thanked them.
Read Olivia's Story

Aida Batara

Aida Batara, suffered a cardiac arrest on April 29th, 2018 at her Waipahū home. Her daughter performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until EMS (Waipiʻo Unit) Paramedics Kimberly Santos, Darcel Hee, and Paramedic Intern (at the time) Zach Suniga arrived and continued with Advanced Life Support (ALS). They were able to regain a pulse and Batara began to breathe. A year later the crew reunited with Batara and she got to thank them for saving her life.

Lawrence “Larry” Gambone

On May 24th, 2018, Larry Gambone was snorkeling at Hanauma Bay with his wife. Lifeguard Elizabeth Bradshaw recognized Mr. Gambone showing signs of distress and chose to paddle out and check up on him. Just before she reached him, he lost consciousness and went underwater. Bradshaw got to him and lifted him out of the water onto a rescue board. She paddled him to shore, where lifeguard Jared Jovero joined her in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Paramedic Stacy Yoshikawa and Emergency Medical Technician Lane Natori took over with advanced life support. Less than a month later, Mr. Gambone and his wife were able to meet the heroes who helped to save his life at a reunion ceremony at the Queen's Medical Center.
Read Larry's Story

Johnny Franklin

In March 2020, a van crossed in front of Johnny Franklin who was on his motorcycle riding on Kapaʻa Quarry Road with his motorcycle club. Franklin collided with the van and suffered life-threatening injuries. Paramedics Kea Smith and Keavy Brennan responded and kept Franklin alive through advanced medical support. A year later, Franklin and his family and friends returned to the scene and reunited with Honolulu EMS. Franklin has since passed away but will always be remembered as a kind-hearted man.
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Channon Santos

Kāneʻohe resident Channon Santos was skateboarding and crashed, suffering a severe head injury. Paramedic Tony Altomare and his partner responded, keeping Santos alive, providing advanced life-saving medical treatment and transporting him to an emergency room. for further treatment. Two years later, Santos and his parents thanked Paramedic Altomare for giving him a chance to survive.
Read Channon's Story

Timothy Phillip “Community Hero”

In January 2021, Vince Southon was at his auto body shop in Waipahū when he heard screams for help. It had been raining very hard and two young boys had been swept in a neighborhood river, one was missing. Southon went to look and saw the boy hanging onto a tree. Southon grabbed a rope and lassoed it to the boy, who tied it around his waist. Southon dragged him to safety. A week later, Mayor Rick Blangiardi and the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services honored Southon for his quick actions resulting in the 10-year old being saved.
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“Uncle Willie” Cosier

In June 2021, Mr. Cosier stopped breathing when he nearly drowned off of Kailua Beach. Good samaritans acted quickly and got him out of the water and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Honolulu Ocean Safety responded and took over CPR. Honolulu Emergency Medical Services and the Honolulu FIre Department also responded and took over with treatment. EMS Paramedics Brent Shimabukuro and Kameron Aceret revived Crozier and a month later he returned to thank the team who saved his life.
Read Uncle Willie's Story

Kai Keuning

In July 2021, 17-year old Kai Keuning was paddling back out to the popular surf break known as “Tonggs” when he was hit by a canoe. Keuning was knocked unconscious and rescued by his uncle and Honolulu Ocean Safety. Onshore, Honolulu Ocean Safety lifeguard Kekoa Kekumanu performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Keuning. Honolulu Emergency Medical Services (Baker One Unit) Paramedics Jared Tanouye, Ruddy Hernandez and Paramedic Intern (at the time) Samantha Blanchard responded. Keuning regained consciousness but suffered serious injuries, spending months rehabilitating. In April 2022, the now high school graduate, his parents and his uncle, met the team who saved his life.
Read Kai's Story

Norm Skorge

In January 2022, Ocean Safety Lieutenant and Dispatcher Norm Skorge was doing laps in a local swimming pool, when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Friends pulled Skorge out of the pool and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Hawaiʻi Kai Unit with Paramedic Mitch Kam and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Tina Craveiro responded. On the pool deck, Kam restarted Skorge’s heart. The husband and father of two has since made a full recovery, is back at work and is even competing in swimming again. Skorge and his family met with Paramedic Kam during the 2022 Honolulu EMS Week.
Watch Norm's Story

Ariel Cadiz

On October 11th, 2021, Kapolei resident Ariel Cadiz was doing yard work when he experienced chest pain. Makakilo Paramedic Eric Chiavetta and his partner Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Nathan Otto, responded. En route to the emergency room, Cadiz suffered a cardiac arrest. Chiavette was able to restart his heart and get the father and husband to start breathing again before arriving at the ER. Soon after, the crew reunited with Cadiz and met his family just prior to a very thankful Thanksgiving.
Read Ariel's Story