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    nojo fire axe 's Avatar
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    Default What's is a "explorer " ?

    What's an " explorer"? I have heard the term before... But never with a clear definition.
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    Normally Boy Scout

    Some do police some do fire

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    Our department has an Explorer post. It is through the Boy Scouts of America and is for kids from 15-20 years of age. The host department provides oversight though advisors. The goal is to open their eyes to the fire service and give them experience.

    Another goal is to mentor young people. Since the creation of the post there have been many Explorers that needed the post more than the post needed them. In some situations the Explorer heeded the guidance and was able to alter their path in life. In some situations they were not able to overcome their personal obstacles or the obstacles in their life and they had to leave the post.

    Our Explorer Post conducts their own meetings and trainings which are overseen by the advisors. They have their own bylaws and board. They are issued gear and pagers but there are restrictions. The pager doesn't go into school with them. We work with the school system and if they have the pager in school it is confiscated and the Principle contacts the advisor and returns it. Then the post follows their bylaws and deals with the situation. The helmets issued to the Explorers are black instead of yellow like the rest of the department. That way everyone knows they are Explorers, stay by the apparatus and don't go near the fire.

    On scene they are a great help because they can stage tools, help with rehab and act as runners. They are also a great help with department activities. We also have a couple members who where Explorers and when they were old enough joined the department. They have a huge leg up on their peers because they already know the apparatus, tools, etc.

    Hope this helps,
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    As pointed out, the Explorers are a branch of the Boy Scouts of America, but Explorers (who are both male and female) aren't actually Boy Scout members. There are Explorer posts for many different fields, but fire and police Explorer posts are by far the two most popular.

    Some departments will have Explorer posts in place of having a "junior firefighter" program.
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    There is also some insurance provided through BSA, although I don't know the specifics.

    As already noted, Explorers can be a great "prep school" for the fire department. By the time they move on from the explorers to being an active firefighter, they already understand the basics. In some areas they might even be able to take FF1, depending on a variety of circumstances.
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    Thanks all! That's cool for our young people.
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    Not to be confused with the term "junior" or "cadet", which is department run program for those under 18.

    Those programs operate under their own rules, and hopefully applicable state law, not the rules of the Boy Scouts.
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    Do you have to already be a Boy Scout to become a explorer? And is it worth joining only to do it for a year?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nojo fire axe View Post
    Do you have to already be a Boy Scout to become a explorer? And is it worth joining only to do it for a year?
    ... No.

    ... Yes.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Some 20+ years ago, I was a police explorer for a large local law enforcement agency. I did it for about six years and quite honestly, made a lot of friends that I still have to this day. It also taught me a lot about discipline, dealing with the public, responsiblity, and interpersonal skills. You ought to look into it.
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