I was talking with the fire chief the other day about a number of things and one thing that was brought up was the Explorer Post that the dept had for 6 years. I was one of the original 6 members to start it up and was the 1st to graduate out. I mentioned to the chief that next year will mark 15 years since the post was formed and thought it would be a neat idea to have a reunion to get all the former members together as possible and as many of the old dept members as possible who have left due to retirement and celebrate what took place and what everyone is doing now. 2 members have gone on to become FF / Paramedics and 1 has gone into law enforcement. After talking to the chief about this I was put in charge of getting the ball rolling to make this a go. With this going on I thought it would be neat to see who else has had posts or still has one and some of the things that have gone on with them. Thanks

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We still have a post, I started with this post when I was 15 and it was still new. The membership has varied and involvement has diminished, but it is still there. It used to be there were a lot of us kids who wanted to do ride alongs at the stations and did. When I first started we were able to ride the ambulance but Explorers are no longer able to do so. Now Explorers can still do ride alongs, but they would be able to go to an engine or ladder with an extra seat. Although we don't really have the kids getting as involved as we once did.

 

The guy who originally started the program (a city electrician, not a FF, but the son of and father of FFs) retired a couple years ago and officially retired from the post last year. Now a former member and current FF heads the program. There are still drill nights and they do fire related topics, and I still help out now and then, but haven't been too active with the program due to other committments.

 

We do have quite a few former members who are on the job and others who have been hired on elsewhere. I do like the Explorer programs because it does give teens a chance to check out a career they may want to be involved in in the future. I also like how the Explorer program has set rules in place about what can and can't be done, with observer being the key. There is no "training" these kids to be FF's, instead just a chance to experience what the job can entail.

I started my career as a explorer at the age of 15 , and a couple of the members became paid ff , and a few of us stayed volunteer , and a majority gave it up , The dept. no longer has a explorer post , but i do believe they have Jr firefighter program , I no longer belong there due to moving out of the area and joining a different dept. but must say that the explorer program is what got me interested in the job

Thank You John and Bill for the information. When I was on the Explorer Post, those of us who met certain conditions were allowed to do ride-alongs and were primarily observers unless extra help was just needed in carrying a med bag for the emt or helping with lifting. In order to ride the explorer had to be first aid & cpr certified and was initially allowed to ride only 1 time a month for 3 hours. That was changed later to 8 hours if the commander of the shift (depending on what station you rode either the Lt. or Bat. Chief) allowed it. You could also participate in some of the class room training sessions to further enhance your skills. After doing your ride alongs, you were asked at the next post meeting to share your experience and what you learned with the rest of the explorers for all to learn. At one time my dept had the largest explorer post in the area with a full roster of 20 explorers and even a waiting list with 10 names but it all fizzled out to nothing and was ended in 2004. I am happy to see what has gone on with your posts as it is always a learning experience and I for one am still learning even though I am only the dept photographer. Thank You again.

Port Chester N.Y. V.F.D. in Westchester County still has an Explorer Post it started in the early 1970s.

Wow, that is amazing that they have been able to keep it going that long when a lot of them are already gone. I am glad they are able to do it.

We still have and its bigger than ever! It was established in 2001 under the direction of the boy scouts but its not anymore. I started in 2006 at age 14 and spent 4 years(18yo). We have around 30 members now compared to 8 when I started. They repsond to structure fires and brush fires. They can do almost anything except make interior attacks. We have several former members of the post to be hired by full time depts just because they went thru the post and then on into the dept itself.

That is excellent. Our post was maxed out at 20 during it's peak time with a waiting list of 10 but it quickly went down hill due to many of the members getting too busy with other things and not wanting to stay involved. Heck, during my last year and a half I was working a full time job so I couldn't make it to many of the meetings but still went when I could and still participated in events when I could. I was the first to graduate out but chose not to get into it full bore. My brother, one of our cousin's who was in it with us and one other person have all gone on into either fire, ems, both, or ems/law enforcment. For a small city like mine to have even some go on is considered a success. Our post was formed in 1998 and folded in 2004. We started with 6 people, maxed out at 20 and folded with about 8. Thanks again for the info.

Yes we do.  I actually started as an explorer 3 yrs ago.  We rely heavily on them, and they do a fantastic job. I believe it is a great way to get people interested in the fire service.

Thank You Wilson. I'm glad to hear that your dept. has one and that it is going strong.  My dept used to have one when I was younger but it disbanded not long after I graduated out. Now a few members of the dept. want one again but the chief says no due to all the issues with funding again as well as the city council creating problems with the dept by now wanting anyone to be promoted when someone retires.

I honestly can't speak for a municipal department, but with ours, the department in terms of finance, has no connection to the explorer program.  The program has its own bank account, and any money it uses, it raises.

I'm actually in the Waukegan fire explore post 2101, Waukegan, IL. It's been been established since 1996 so been a while now. Our post advisor just retired from Waukegan so we will be expecting a new advisor for our next meet.
Our department has an Explorer Post. I think it is great to see the kids come down and learn, some go on to fire academy and then resident with one of the shifts. Others decide on a different career path.

They are a great group of kids that have come through since I started with the FD three years ago, I love the spice that they bring to our FD. :)

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