A Richmond firefighter and cancer survivor is headed on an all-expenses paid vacation to Tahiti after being named the hardest-working person in the U.S. by United Airlines.
Marcus Faumui was selected among 30,000 nominations for the nationwide contest.
Earlier this month, United Airlines joined Faumui’s wife in surprising him at his fire station with the honor. His wife nominated him.
“Everyone knows you’re an amazing husband,” she said during the surprise, which was captured by United Airlines on video. “And you work so hard. You always work 60 to 70 hours a week, you volunteer in the community. When you had cancer, you were working more than full time. It’s amazing for me to see and it’s amazing for people to know.”
Richmond Fire Battalion Chief Victor Bontempo said the honor “couldn’t have happened to a better person.”
“He graduated number one in his class,” said Richmond Fire Capt. Marcus Rayon. “You had to take a physical agility test. The day he did that, was the day he also went through chemotherapy. He did his chemo in the morning and his physical agility test right after it.”
In response to winning the honor, Faumui credited his wife, saying “She helped me along the way with everything. She deserves it as much as me, if not more.”
The firefighter and his wife will enjoy a roundtrip United Polaris business class flight for two to Tahiti, including seven nights at three different hotels scattered across the islands of Tahiti, ground transportation, a choice of excursions, and a $2,000 prepaid card for meals and other expenses, according to United Airlines.
The contest aims to raise awareness of the importance of taking time off of work to travel, which makes people “significantly happier than those who travel very little or not at all,” according to the company.