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Police honor heroes



A police officer and a citizen were honored Friday (January 30) for saving a life in 1999.

Chief Harry S. Kubojiri presented a Certificate of Merit plaque to Leonard Ramboyon of Hilo during a short ceremony Friday morning at the Hilo police station.

Ramboyon helped save the life of his friend, Officer Jeffrey Natividad, after Natividad experienced shallow water blackout while free diving off the coast of Manuka in the Ka’u district on August 21, 1999.

Officer Christopher Ragasa, who was diving with them, retrieved Natividad from 30 feet below the water’s surface and then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation while Ramboyon steadied Natividad in the water on his back. When Ragasa became exhausted, Ramboyon took over and continued the CPR until Natividad regained consciousness.

“We would have lost Jeffrey if it were not for your quick and determined action,” Kubojiri said told Ramboyon. “You demonstrated great personal courage and a willingness to put safety and welfare of others before your own when faced with a critical lifesaving situation.

Friday afternoon, Chief Kubojiri recognized Ragasa for his role during a recognition ceremony of the 75th Recruit Class. Ragasa, who is a training officer for the recruits, received a Certificate of Valor and a Silver Medal of Valor.

The delay in presenting the two awards was the result of miscommunication among members of the Police Department. As a result, the department has taken steps designed to prevent that from happening again.

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