Aloha Exchange Club names Officer, Firefighter of the year

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii recognized Puna Patrol Officer Michael Sailer as 2022 Officer of the Year and Hawaii Fire Department Fire Captain Jon Wayne Boteilho as Firefighter of the Year during a ceremony on Saturday in Hilo.

Officer Sailer was recognized for his exceptional investigative police work and lifesaving efforts during an incident involving the kidnapping and torture of a male victim in Volcano. A five-year veteran of the department, Officer Sailer responded to a report of a dispute at a residence in Volcano in June 2022.


Upon arrival, Officer Sailer was told only that a dropped 9-1-1 call from a cell phone had been received from the remote rural area. Despite having no information to guide him, Officer Sailer searched the area for signs of foul play. After several minutes, he heard one faint cry for help. Officer Sailer continued searching, calling out “police” many times. No one responded, but he did locate a residence.

At the house, Officer Sailer saw what appeared to be a small amount of blood on the front door. The male teen who opened it was wearing gloves, and Officer Sailer could hear a man yelling for help within.

Asking the teen to step outside, Officer Sailer entered the front room and discovered a handcuffed man lying on the floor with his feet zip-tied and a second man kneeling on top of the victim. The victim had a rag partially stuffed in his mouth and secured with duct taped.

After securing the residence, Officer Sailer found tactical gear, an assault rifle, a pistol, ammunition, and evidence of a kidnapping and that an assault that had taken place in the home. In the course of investigation, Officer Sailer discovered the victim had been held against his will within the residence and assaulted. It appeared that the two males in the residence may have intended on killing the victim and covering up the incident.

The teen and male adult suspects were eventually charged with a variety of crimes, including kidnapping and assault.

“Officer Sailer’s dedication to duty and willingness to conduct a thorough search of the area led to him finding the residence, and ultimately the victim in this case,” said Hawaii Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz. “His actions literally saved the life of the male victim, who would otherwise have been killed. I am extremely proud of Officer Sailer and the hard work he put in to solve this case.”

Hawaii Fire Department Captain Boteilho was honored as Firefighter of the Year for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty maintaining the department’s mechanical equipment and Respiratory Management Program.

An 18-year veteran of the department, Captain Boteilho has spent most of his career at the Pahoa fire station, one of the busiest on island with a response area the size of Oahu. He uses his extensive mechanical skills to maintain the apparatus and equipment at the Pahoa station while sharing his skills with his crew. By handling routine repairs in-house, he saves the department time and money while ensuring the station’s apparatus are at the ready for the calls they receive.

In addition to his duties as captain, he also runs the department’s Respiratory Management Program. Affectionately nicknamed “Airheads,” members of this program are responsible for fit-testing the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and N95 masks, as well as updating, maintaining and testing the SCBA packs. It’s a detailed process to check the equipment, and is critical in protecting firefighters and ensuring they receive quality oxygen in high-stress situations.

Captain Boteilho has learned all aspects of the Respiratory Management Program, from inventory management to equipment calibrations, product ordering, scheduling and more. Because the department needs to conduct fit testing annually, he travels around the island to all stations and ensures personnel have properly-maintained gear.

All of these efforts are in addition to his regular duties as captain. He’s been seen working on SCBA packs between calls while on duty because, in his words, “It will save the department money on overtime.”

“The selfless service and true humility displayed by Captain Boteilho is what every firefighter aspires to be,” said Deputy Fire Chief Eric Moller. “His work ethic and dedication to doing what is right is what makes him perfect for this award.”

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