JoAnn & Clifford Hirayasu (2015)

JoAnn and Clifford Hirayasu have served as civil defense volunteers for 45 years (2016) — the longest tenure in the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management’s Reserve Corps.  Since 1971, Clifford, a mechanic and JoAnn, an elementary school teacher, while working full-time and raising three children, they would come out to help their neighbors, schools, and total strangers whenever disaster struck (hurricanes, tsunami alerts, evacuations, monitoring road conditions, flooding, etc.).  “They are very giving people, not only of their time, but everything else,” said Jeff Spencer, volunteer services coordinator for the department. “They would give you, in the proverbial phrase, the shirt off their back, and in this case they actually would. Once you meet them you’re like a member of their family.”

Couple spends their lives as lifesavers