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  1. #1

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    Default More Explorer Quetsions

    We have an Explorer program started (been almost a year) but it has never really kicked off due to lack of adult participation! Now, myself and 2 other parents have started to light a fire under the Advisor to get this thing moving upwards instead of smoldering out. The boys are anxious for this to work, the parents are as well, the other local Explorer program is willing to help and guide us, but the snag seems to be within the ranks of the Advisors and knowing the actual roles they are suppose to play!

    We have a small FD and we have 1 firefighter that I guess "leads" and his wife who also is a volunteer at the FD is the other "leader". She sent home with us an Adult Leader Guide that details the positions within the Explorer Program and their duty descriptions. My question is that of structure within the adults of the program. Our cadets have been working with the Cadet program from our sister county and have gained alot of information for them to start implementing. Our adults, however, I think are going to start arguing if we do not get this structure implemented.

    So, for the questions...these from the Adult Leader Guide that was sent home.
    Participating Organization - Our fire department, correct?
    Recruits adult leaders falls under it. That would be the leader and his wife or just the leader?

    Who is in charge of the money for the cadet program? Can the leader spend the money on things without a majority vote on it? Is there a certain way to go about what to spend the money on?

    What types of things would be best to purchase out of cadet funds for a newly started cadet program? Uniforms, books, gloves, business cards, radios...

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Our next meeting is Thursday evening, and I want to go in with more things to get working on as far as the leadership and advisory roles and responsibilities. I am an advisor, but the "wife-leader" is spending money on things that were offered as donations rather than accepting the donations, trying to change things the cadets have chosen to do in their agenda, spending money on things that her family utilizes...and so forth. Posting here would be great or you can email me at bubbliebabs@yahoo.com.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Futureemt73193's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CadetsMom View Post
    We have an Explorer program started (been almost a year) but it has never really kicked off due to lack of adult participation! Now, myself and 2 other parents have started to light a fire under the Advisor to get this thing moving upwards instead of smoldering out. The boys are anxious for this to work, the parents are as well, the other local Explorer program is willing to help and guide us, but the snag seems to be within the ranks of the Advisors and knowing the actual roles they are suppose to play!

    We have a small FD and we have 1 firefighter that I guess "leads" and his wife who also is a volunteer at the FD is the other "leader". She sent home with us an Adult Leader Guide that details the positions within the Explorer Program and their duty descriptions. My question is that of structure within the adults of the program. Our cadets have been working with the Cadet program from our sister county and have gained alot of information for them to start implementing. Our adults, however, I think are going to start arguing if we do not get this structure implemented.

    So, for the questions...these from the Adult Leader Guide that was sent home.
    Participating Organization - Our fire department, correct?
    Recruits adult leaders falls under it. That would be the leader and his wife or just the leader?

    Who is in charge of the money for the cadet program? Can the leader spend the money on things without a majority vote on it? Is there a certain way to go about what to spend the money on?

    What types of things would be best to purchase out of cadet funds for a newly started cadet program? Uniforms, books, gloves, business cards, radios...

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Our next meeting is Thursday evening, and I want to go in with more things to get working on as far as the leadership and advisory roles and responsibilities. I am an advisor, but the "wife-leader" is spending money on things that were offered as donations rather than accepting the donations, trying to change things the cadets have chosen to do in their agenda, spending money on things that her family utilizes...and so forth. Posting here would be great or you can email me at bubbliebabs@yahoo.com.

    Ok what I'm going to say is open for corrections cause I'm sure it will need it......I have been on a post that was basically gone and we raised it back up and now we have an awesome advisor who puts everything into it that he can. So first things first make sure you have a dedicated advisor that will give his/her time to make things work. I wouldn't worry about buying uniforms right at the start....one thing you could do is make up fliers and get it advertised that you do have a cadet program and try to recruit more people. I could be wrong here but I'm not sure......the only reason you should need radios is if your cadets can actually respond to calls. OK.....to the money situation.....how we do it in our explorer post is we have a treasurer which is one of the explorers and they are in charge of the money. But the money goes into an bank account and stays there. The only way we spend money is if we all agree to what we are spending it on. If you are having this problem with her spending your posts money try to confront her about it and just see how it goes from there. I hope some of this helped. Good luck!
    ~But with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26~

    ~The very worst fire plan is no plan. The next worse is two plans. ~

    ~Stay Safe! Everyone Goes Home!~

  3. #3
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    1. Explorers don't need business cards or radios.

    2. What are the things she is spending money on for her family to utilize?

    Each Explorer post is run differently so its hard to say exactly how it should work. If you have some objections to the way they are running the show I would address them with the leaders outside the presence of the kids. If things are resolved to your satisfaction then you can take your concerns to the chief.

  4. #4

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    Oct 2008
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    Yelm, Washington, USA
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    Thanks for your input. The program was implemented almost a year ago under a different advisor. That advisor was deployed with the military, and this new advisor took over. A few people left due to how unorganized is is now that he took over hence why I stepped in and a few other parents to try and get the ball rolling.

    We have done flyers and the kids have been spreading it by word of mouth. The business cards is an expense she did without notice to any of the cadets or parents, and she bought 1000 of them, with the wrong phone number!! Their children come to nearly all the meetings wearing our t-shirts, but none are old enough to participate and do not participate, they are just there.

    Personally, we (the parents) are not happy witht he advisor or his spouse and the way it is being run, but unfortunately no one else from the department seems to care...they have never come to a meeting or anything like that and looking at meting notes, the last mention was in July and stated attendence was low...nothing more, nothing less.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CadetsMom View Post

    So, for the questions...these from the Adult Leader Guide that was sent home.
    Participating Organization - Our fire department, correct?
    Recruits adult leaders falls under it. That would be the leader and his wife or just the leader?

    Who is in charge of the money for the cadet program? Can the leader spend the money on things without a majority vote on it? Is there a certain way to go about what to spend the money on?

    What types of things would be best to purchase out of cadet funds for a newly started cadet program? Uniforms, books, gloves, business cards, radios...

    First and foremost, the success of a program lies with the advisors. While there may be one "Lead" advisor, you can have numerous others. If the leader's wife is also a firefighter, her input can be valued as much as his. You state you are also an advisor, are you also a firefighter? If not, sometimes the best way to get a program moving is to keep it strictly fire based. While you can help out and so forth, the focus should be on firefighting. It would also help to get other volunteers to help out when they can. They don't have to be advisors, but if a volunteer knows a skill and can come on a certain night, it would help to utilize him/her for a meeting night.

    Along with that, the advisors, parents, etc should get together to establish topics which can be covered. Start small with the basics about firefighting and then work into more hands on. Try to know what you will be doing on the meeting night so that it stays interesting. Most explorers are in school, so the last thing they want to do is listen to lectures at a meeting. You can do such things as ropes and knots for one night, EMS, radios and communications another, SCBA's, and work towards more hands on fireground operations like putting up ground ladders, spraying water, etc. Even the radio/comm stuff, while it can sound boring, work into how to call a mayday and such. After a few months and more and more skills are learned you can integrate all the skills together.

    What we do for our Explorers is we start with a first night for interested kids. Then depending upon how many new kids we get and how long some others have been on we determine our meeting activities. Early in the year we start out with basic fireground operations, what each company does, etc and some fire stuff. We try to show this with a powerpoint and so forth and show the rigs and explain equipment carried. Then we do an EMS night, explain some basic stuff and then have explorers do vitals and basic first aid skills. Our SCBA and radio night go together and one group does one and we switch off. The y learn how to talk on the radio and experience the difference from talking on air and not. We do some outdoor activities such as ground ladder placement, hoseline handeling etc. We do Jaws training and extrication. By the end of the year we get try to incorporate everything together and run a simulated fire in the burn tower, including RIT, rescue, ladders etc. The explorers really enjoy the hands on the most.

    We do allow explorers to do ride alongs, but they are strictly observation. They do NOT go into a fire, or even touch a hoseline from the outside. They may get lucky to bring a tool up, but usually they will be right next to the battalion chief on scene or they stay with the rig. There is no place for explorers to be roaming the fireground. As such, there is no need for turnouts for them, nor radios, if there is some old gear, that is fine, but don't go out and buy some just for explorers. For allpractical purposes the explorers are there to observe only.

    As for donations and handeling of funds. Work on the basics first. Most of the money should be going to insurance if you are not established through scouts. If you think you need to have a committee vot on budget items, then so be it. However, think about the program first and don't look to save money just for the sake of it. The ONLY thing our explorers pay for is insurance and we do a one time annual fee. We have some old turnout gear donated by the department and drill nights are at a station so we go over equipment there.

    There is really no need for uniforms, books, business card (none at all for those) or radios. The Explorers should be able to use dept equipment for drill night. However, the best thing to do is to leave the equipment in the shape or better than you have found it. If you need to spend money, look at the best reason to spend it on. Don't look for "nice to have" things, but use it for needed stuff. Gloves could be a good thing to get.

    Best thing to do is use available resources. Get the volunteers of the department onboard with the program. If the vollys are doing something unique, see if the explorers can attend, at least to observe. The more firefighters you get onboard with the program, the better it will be. Use them for knowledge so it isn't always the same people talking. Mix things up etc.
    Last edited by jccrabby3084; 10-09-2008 at 11:38 PM.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
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    West Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue601 View Post
    1. Explorers don't need business cards or radios.

    2. What are the things she is spending money on for her family to utilize?

    Each Explorer post is run differently so its hard to say exactly how it should work. If you have some objections to the way they are running the show I would address them with the leaders outside the presence of the kids. If things are resolved to your satisfaction then you can take your concerns to the chief.
    I agree I don't see any reason for business cards.

    Radios are great for training, but use extra ones from your department, or buy the cheap ones at Walmart.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    First and foremost, the success of a program lies with the advisors. While there may be one "Lead" advisor, you can have numerous others. If the leader's wife is also a firefighter, her input can be valued as much as his. You state you are also an advisor, are you also a firefighter? If not, sometimes the best way to get a program moving is to keep it strictly fire based. While you can help out and so forth, the focus should be on firefighting. It would also help to get other volunteers to help out when they can. They don't have to be advisors, but if a volunteer knows a skill and can come on a certain night, it would help to utilize him/her for a meeting night.

    Along with that, the advisors, parents, etc should get together to establish topics which can be covered. Start small with the basics about firefighting and then work into more hands on. Try to know what you will be doing on the meeting night so that it stays interesting. Most explorers are in school, so the last thing they want to do is listen to lectures at a meeting. You can do such things as ropes and knots for one night, EMS, radios and communications another, SCBA's, and work towards more hands on fireground operations like putting up ground ladders, spraying water, etc. Even the radio/comm stuff, while it can sound boring, work into how to call a mayday and such. After a few months and more and more skills are learned you can integrate all the skills together.

    What we do for our Explorers is we start with a first night for interested kids. Then depending upon how many new kids we get and how long some others have been on we determine our meeting activities. Early in the year we start out with basic fireground operations, what each company does, etc and some fire stuff. We try to show this with a powerpoint and so forth and show the rigs and explain equipment carried. Then we do an EMS night, explain some basic stuff and then have explorers do vitals and basic first aid skills. Our SCBA and radio night go together and one group does one and we switch off. The y learn how to talk on the radio and experience the difference from talking on air and not. We do some outdoor activities such as ground ladder placement, hoseline handeling etc. We do Jaws training and extrication. By the end of the year we get try to incorporate everything together and run a simulated fire in the burn tower, including RIT, rescue, ladders etc. The explorers really enjoy the hands on the most.

    We do allow explorers to do ride alongs, but they are strictly observation. They do NOT go into a fire, or even touch a hoseline from the outside. They may get lucky to bring a tool up, but usually they will be right next to the battalion chief on scene or they stay with the rig. There is no place for explorers to be roaming the fireground. As such, there is no need for turnouts for them, nor radios, if there is some old gear, that is fine, but don't go out and buy some just for explorers. For allpractical purposes the explorers are there to observe only.

    As for donations and handeling of funds. Work on the basics first. Most of the money should be going to insurance if you are not established through scouts. If you think you need to have a committee vot on budget items, then so be it. However, think about the program first and don't look to save money just for the sake of it. The ONLY thing our explorers pay for is insurance and we do a one time annual fee. We have some old turnout gear donated by the department and drill nights are at a station so we go over equipment there.

    There is really no need for uniforms, books, business card (none at all for those) or radios. The Explorers should be able to use dept equipment for drill night. However, the best thing to do is to leave the equipment in the shape or better than you have found it. If you need to spend money, look at the best reason to spend it on. Don't look for "nice to have" things, but use it for needed stuff. Gloves could be a good thing to get.

    Best thing to do is use available resources. Get the volunteers of the department onboard with the program. If the vollys are doing something unique, see if the explorers can attend, at least to observe. The more firefighters you get onboard with the program, the better it will be. Use them for knowledge so it isn't always the same people talking. Mix things up etc.
    This is all perfect! We started our Explorer post this past April from scratch. We have 13 awesome kids and we are having a blast with them. They have turnout gear that is handed down from our firefighters including helmets. I did some searching and sent out lots of emails to companies for nomex hoods. One company donated all of the kids nomex hoods. I am in the process of watching Ebay for their gloves. They have gloves from the FD but they are old and pretty stiff so its time to replace them.
    The kids will have pagers but not radios. They are allowed to respond to fires but there are some pretty strict rules they have to follow. We are in the process of buying them polo shirts to wear during fund raisers and dept functions. The kids have had several fund raisers already this year and all of the monies go directly into their checking acct. I am in charge of making sure the money is deposited but the Explorers do have a treasurer as a formality.
    As far as the advisors. We have 7 and all are members of the fire department. My husband is the lead advisor and I am right below him. The other advisors are pretty busy so we tell them to help out when they are available. It does take alot dedication and time to work with this age group but it is so rewarding to watch them out on a scene helping the other firefighters or even when they are standing back and drinking in everything that is happening around them!
    If you need anything please feel free to email me. I check my email several times a day. gffd337@hotmail.com
    Jami
    Jami Sue

    facebook.com/firechick337

    Live each day as if it were your last!

    Ember Lou loves all of her firefighter families!

    GFFD forever!!

    Gorham-Fayette Fire Explorers Rock!!

  8. #8
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Hey Mom,

    Why don't you contact the Seattle FD and see what they do?
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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