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I went to the Fire Academy in Orlando. FL and I remember a few of the younger guys were explorers for the City of Orlando F.D. I was thinking of suggesting this program in my department and I wanted to know what people thought of it first. I'm basically looking for some pros and cons to the idea. I think it helped some of the younger kids stay out of trouble. Especially if they were serious about the fire service. Let me know what you think.
Thanks,

J.C.

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We have a Post at our Dept. and have had since the early 90's. If the program is ran correctly it is very good for the kids and even helps the guys at scenes. We have 4 (including myself) of our 92 staff that are currently working at our dept. There are also others that have moved on to the fire service with other depts and the military. Like i said, it all depends on how the Post is ran as to what you get out of it.
J.C., Please help the future of your Fire Dept and do what you can to start up this very valauble program. It has many benefits for the boys and girls as well as the department. I have posted a link below that will help educate you a little more.

http://www.learning-for-life.org/exploring/fire/

I am proof that the explorer program works. At 14 years old I started in my combination dept. as an explorer. Now I currently hold the rank of BC within the career dept.

As Clyde already stated they will get out of it what is put into it by the adult leadership. If it is done right everyone involved will benfit for many. many time over.

Stay Safe.

P.J.
J.C. Like both Clyde and P.J. I started out as a cadet (local name for explorers) Great programs for teenagers who are curious about the fire service. We only started are program in 2001 and have had good success with it. Out of the 10 cadets we have had in the program (we're a small town), all but 2 are still active on the department as firefighters. We have made the minimum age to join 15. In addition to company drills we have cadet drills a couple times a month, where a officer and/or senior firefighter, go over the basics with the cadets. Hydrants, ladders, radio communications, etc. They are great to have on the fireground, they can take a plug, assist in laddering, and basically any exterior operations. At the local academy, they recently started a junior firefighter 1 program, which is firefighter 1 minus the power tools, and live burn scenarios. Once the cadet turns 18, the can return and in two weekends, they are certified to FF1. This is probible what you had seen at the Orlando academy. If you would like, I will send you a copy of our cadet bylaws.

Stay safe brothers,

Doug
I would very much like a copy of those bylaws. I'm sure they will come in handy.

Thanks and be safe,
J.C.

Doug Yates said:
J.C. Like both Clyde and P.J. I started out as a cadet (local name for explorers) Great programs for teenagers who are curious about the fire service. We only started are program in 2001 and have had good success with it. Out of the 10 cadets we have had in the program (we're a small town), all but 2 are still active on the department as firefighters. We have made the minimum age to join 15. In addition to company drills we have cadet drills a couple times a month, where a officer and/or senior firefighter, go over the basics with the cadets. Hydrants, ladders, radio communications, etc. They are great to have on the fireground, they can take a plug, assist in laddering, and basically any exterior operations. At the local academy, they recently started a junior firefighter 1 program, which is firefighter 1 minus the power tools, and live burn scenarios. Once the cadet turns 18, the can return and in two weekends, they are certified to FF1. This is probible what you had seen at the Orlando academy. If you would like, I will send you a copy of our cadet bylaws.

Stay safe brothers,

Doug
P.J., Thanks for the info. It will be a great tool in proving the benefits of this program to my officers.

Be safe,
J.C.

P.J. Norwood said:
J.C., Please help the future of your Fire Dept and do what you can to start up this very valauble program. It has many benefits for the boys and girls as well as the department. I have posted a link below that will help educate you a little more.

http://www.learning-for-life.org/exploring/fire/

I am proof that the explorer program works. At 14 years old I started in my combination dept. as an explorer. Now I currently hold the rank of BC within the career dept.

As Clyde already stated they will get out of it what is put into it by the adult leadership. If it is done right everyone involved will benfit for many. many time over.

Stay Safe.

P.J.
JC. I'll send you message tomorrow with the by-laws when I get a minute at the station.

Stay Safe.
Doug
I was an Explorer years ago and this was a great oppurtunity. My cousin is currently an Explorer and has benefitted greatly from the oppurtunities. A little tough to manage and stay motivated from what I have heard from other departments but a great mentoring oppurtunity for the future fire service!!!
JC, If you want send me an e-mail in about 2 weeks. I am working with a committee that is re-writing our rules/regs for the explorers. Once complete I will forward to you for your utilization. I am a firm believer in not re-inventing just adapting what others are already successfully doing!

Stay Safe!

pnorwood@easthavenfire.com

P.J.
I don't remember when the Fire Explorer program started but its been many years. another thing your department might want to thing about is what a few metropolitan FD have started doing and that is start training them while they're still in high school. The FDNY High School For Fire And Life Safety and Chesapeake (VA) Fire Department, which is run by the Chesapeake Public Schools, are two that immediately come to mind. I'm not sure if I agree with the junior Firefighter program. You send a young man or woman through the academy, teach what we do and then tell them "Oh, by the way, don't go into that burning building." Keep their interest by having them take fire science, chemistry, etc classes for the last couple of years in high school. Maybe run them through the academy the summer between the junior and senior year, much like the National Guard does. That way if they are truly serious about making the Fire Service a career then bring them on board. Every Chief of the Department and Training Chief knows how much it costs the taxpayers to start a recruit through the academy and what a waste of funds it is if the individual won't or can't make the cut.

JSAustin

Be safe, Brothers and Sister when dancing with the Devil . . . !
I am the Adult Explorer Advisor for our department's Explorer Post. As with everything, there are two sides to the program both good and difficult, never bad.

1st the pros - The program is a great recruitment and retention tool. You will obtain teens ages 14-18 and hopefully role them over into your department within only a few years and you get to take pride in the fact that you trained them.

Training the explorers actually is great training and review for the advisors! We teach both firefighting skills and leadership skills and compete in a regional competition every year (supposed to at least)

We allow our explorers to work shift. 2 explorers each shift, after school hours and weekends. During shift they help with house duties, respond on runs and are allowed to assist on emergency runs as well but are limited to what they are allowed to do. So, you basically have 2 extra pair of hands with you at all times.

and then the cons or the difficult parts...

Our Explorers wear the same patch as we do per the cheif... what they do out of site if in uniform could come back to haunt you. We tell them not to wear therer uniform in public but you never know

You could obtain "turds" as we call them that cause trouble within the explorer post or do as what was mentioned above

Might be a con, might not be, but it takes a lot of time to lead a group like this. I have 15 explorers in my post and we meet the first 3 thursdays of each month from 1800-2100. In addition to that we take our post to fire museums, big city departmets, communications center etc... lots of personal time is sometimes lost but it is so worth it!

I have so much more info. If you have any specific questions send me your email address and I'll give you all I know
Great Concept! I was an explorer. It made all the differance. It is great for the department and the town or city!
My email is jcjimenez718@gmail.com. I would appreciate any info you might have.

Thank you and be safe,
J.C.

Kyle said:
I am the Adult Explorer Advisor for our department's Explorer Post. As with everything, there are two sides to the program both good and difficult, never bad.

1st the pros - The program is a great recruitment and retention tool. You will obtain teens ages 14-18 and hopefully role them over into your department within only a few years and you get to take pride in the fact that you trained them.

Training the explorers actually is great training and review for the advisors! We teach both firefighting skills and leadership skills and compete in a regional competition every year (supposed to at least)

We allow our explorers to work shift. 2 explorers each shift, after school hours and weekends. During shift they help with house duties, respond on runs and are allowed to assist on emergency runs as well but are limited to what they are allowed to do. So, you basically have 2 extra pair of hands with you at all times.

and then the cons or the difficult parts...

Our Explorers wear the same patch as we do per the cheif... what they do out of site if in uniform could come back to haunt you. We tell them not to wear therer uniform in public but you never know

You could obtain "turds" as we call them that cause trouble within the explorer post or do as what was mentioned above

Might be a con, might not be, but it takes a lot of time to lead a group like this. I have 15 explorers in my post and we meet the first 3 thursdays of each month from 1800-2100. In addition to that we take our post to fire museums, big city departmets, communications center etc... lots of personal time is sometimes lost but it is so worth it!

I have so much more info. If you have any specific questions send me your email address and I'll give you all I know

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