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  1. #1
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    Question Fire Cadet Program

    My department is looking at starting a cadet program, and I have been placed in charge of the research. I don't know where to start my research as there aren't any local departments around here with a cadet program. Would like to find out what the laws or rules regarding it are? Is there an age they have to be to start? Can they do everything a firefighter does? Are there any establised programs like from FEMA or NFPA about cadet programs? Does anybody have an established program that they are willing to share with me? Anybody with knowledge about cadet programs or that has a contact that can help please let me know!!! Thanks.

    Derek Bastien
    Grayling City/Twp Fire Dept.
    Grayling, Mi.
    firemedicbaz@firehousemail.com


  2. #2
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    I'm from Oregon so can't answer questions about your state's law. We are in our first year of full operation of the cadet program. Our program is coordinated with the local high school and community college. The program is part of the high school and students meet at the fire station during their scheduled class days. The main content of the first year is Firefighter 1. I'm at home now but if you want additional information or SOG's, let me know and I'll be happy to email them to you. This program is not easy and will require someone to instruct during the school period.

  3. #3
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    If your department is owned by a muncipal or county government, the first place you will want to start with is to check with the governing board to get the OK from them.

    You will also need to contact the insurance carrrier for either the department and/or government entity to see what their requirements are and what the additional costs will be.

    About 15 years or so ago, my department was also interested in starting a cadet program. We are municipally owned and when the Village's insurance carrier was consulted with, it was found to be very cost prohibitive.

    The officers at that time then turned to the Boy Scouts of America under the Explorer Program that is now known as either Explorer or Learning for Life. It was determined to go this route as for the annual re-chartering fee the members of the explorer post (cadets) and the advisors would be covered under the BSA insurance and there would be no further cost to the department.

    Our department chartered the first explorer post for the fire service in the State of Vermont and the only one that has remained chartered in continous years since it's inception.

    Now there are the BSA rules that you have to contend with which are farily numerous - such as no climbing of aerial apparatus, but for the most part they are liveable.

    Our Explorers are not permitted to respond on apparatus or even to show up on a scene while it is a working incident. There have been rare exceptions to this - but generally these are for the members of the post who are the more senior members. It is the exception and not the norm.

    The Explorers do learn about fire fighting, equipment, are eligible to attend a cadet summer academy, and often have assisted at the station during and after the incidents. Your department can set it own guidelines and policies as long as they do not conflict with the BSA rules.

    Membership is open to anyone young person who is at least 14 years old and has completed the 8th grade, up to age 21. However, a large number of our Explorers apply to become regular members of the department at age 18.

    We have had our ups and downs have had as few as 3 Explorers to as many as 15 - right now we have 7.

    If you decide to look into the explorer programs, I would suggest you contact your nearest office of the BSA.

    Good Luck
    Brian K. Savage
    Fire Commissioner
    Swanton, VT

  4. #4
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    I am from NY and we have had an Explorer program since the mid 80's. It has proven to be extreamly benificial with many moving up into the ranks of fire fighter. We allow ours to drill on everything, and help with everything except structure fires and some MVA's. Most are better than some fire fighters. They are all trained when they turn 18 and can go right to work for you. You should look into it, I think you'll be pleasently surprised!!!

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber jonesy0924's Avatar
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    Question would like to see some sop's

    I just became an advisor with the explorers at my station and they need some help organizing better...if anyone can help email me sops or anything...
    Jonesy
    Fail to plan. Plan to fail.

    FL EMT-B
    FL State Firefighter
    Pro Board Firefighter
    Career Firefighter
    Local 2103


  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ftfdverbenec770's Avatar
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    Default

    im with a vollie dept in ks and we started a cadet program to help with out low numbers. we started 3 years ago with 2 hs seniors and its has grown very well. we had 5 last year and 3 this year.

    the cadets would come down every other school day( they were on block planning) and we would just teach them everything there was to know. now they can set up a truck for almost any kind of event. there only limitations is we dont let them on a line at a fire, dont perform any types of rescue ex- exercation, high angle, etc. and they dont respond to EMS calls.

    we do issue them full gear and a pager so they can respond to the station for a call just like the rest of the guys.

    the biggest draw back is that we dont have much of a say so in who gets in to the program. it is something that is run threw the high school and they go to them to sign up for the class. last year we had all but one of the cadets jsut take it cause it was something to get out of school and it was an easy A. this year we got the list from the school and had them come down to the station for a formal interview with a few firemen, chief and some townhips board members.

    in our 3 years with the program it has valued us very much and i would sudjest that you do start on, as long as you have some one good to be there with them and teach them what is needed to be learned.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Get municipal authority to start a junior FF program. Make sure that the insurance coverages are in place. In PA, the FD is recognized by a municipal ordinance as the fire response organization for that political sudivision, and once that occurs Workers comp insurance paid for by the municipality attaches. Not sure how it works in other states.

    Once you have made sure the Juniors would be covered, then you can start looking at what they can do. Our local votech has an arrangement with the highschools for a FF1 and EMT track program. It's a new program so we dont' have a lot of feedback yet. But the kids take the essentials of FF class and all the prereq's for FF1, except for the structural burn component since they cannot do that under pa law until after they are 18.

    In terms of what all they can do on scene, or in training, check with a local attorney about what your child labor laws say. That's where to look, or at least where to start.

    Contact your state fire commissioner or fire academy and see what courses they have to teach juniors. There is an apprentice program in PA. check out the PA fire commissioners website for it's contents. It's a blueprint for what you might teach them.

    But check with your local attorney to see what is permissible under YOUR state laws.

    In addition to the votech program which the bulk of our junior FF do not attend, we run a JR. FF program each year in a week long class at a local fire school. We have about 160-190 students broken into four age groups 14, 15, 16, and 17. Each is taught from an integrated curriculum based upon the IFSTA manual. We teach them what we can for that age group, under pa law. It's integrated in the sense that as age 15 ...the firest night is a review of what was taught to the 14 year olds and so on.....

    After 4 years in the juniors program, they have 60 hours of IFSTA based training. It makes the transition to taking the Essentials class a smooth one.

    The votech program is new, and I don't have any idea how well it is doing.

    Hope that helps.

    As a last resort, contact the National Fire Administration and see what free publications they have about Junior Firefighting.

    Good luck with your program. Today's junior is tomorrow's chief.
    If you can keep your head about you, while those around you are losing theirs, then you will be a man my son.

    Rudyard Kipling.

  8. #8
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    Bethel, Connecticut, United States
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    Default Fire cadet

    Who better to know about the fire cadet program than a cadet chief themself thats why im willing to help you out unfortunatley im from CT so I am not to sure about laws, but if you want a draft of our cadet laws the corp bylaws and the cadet application email me at ghostrider3505@yahoo.com Thank you and i am always willing to help.
    Sincerley,
    Cadet chief
    Ray Kennedy

  9. #9
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    Default Check out DFD

    Denver Fire Dept. (Colorado) has one of the best Fire Cadet programs that I have ever seen.

  10. #10
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    Default cadet program

    Hello. My name is Brian Larson. We had something like a cadet program. It was called an explorers post through the boy scouts of america. They could respond to medicals and wildland fires and help out. Structure fires are the only thing that they can't do. they can help mop up, and with rehab but they cannot go interior on them. They cannot be placed in harms way. If you have any other questions, e-mail me at raider_59@hotmail.com

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber DougVelting's Avatar
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    Default cadets

    Email me DougVelting@cassvillefire.org be happy to help you with paper work, ideas and things that have worked for us

  12. #12
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    I'm currently a cadet advisor and a graduate of the cadet program in my town in CT and would like to help you get a start on your program. We took a look at the Boy Scouts in the late '90s when I was the Captain of the program. For us they weren't the way to go. Our insurance company allows us to do the same without the hassles that the boy scouts would give us. We set up by-laws and SOPs that were similar to the SOPs of the fire dept. We set up an officer structure that was similar to the fire dept. The goal of the cadet program is to help the young adults into the fire service and try to get them to join the ranks of the fire dept. and still have fun. Basically, when they turn 18, they already have 4 years of fire service experience and 2 years of fire ground experience. At last check our graduation percentage from cadet to joining the fire dept. is 55%. 3 cadet graduates have become career firefighters in our area. Cadet programs are a great help for recruitment, but also can be a great help on the fireground if your town officals and insurance company allows it. It is nice to send the extra firefighters into the burning building and have the cadets setting up the rehab station, and setting up lighting and hitting the hydrant and the list goes on. They have been important help at our major incidents. If you would like a copy of our by-laws or ask any questions just give a reply.

  13. #13
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    Default Junior/Cadet program

    We would like a copy of your by-laws. We are getting ready to start our own program and are comparing SOP's and trying to form our own and appreciate any input. FFSCAR15@alltel.net. Thank you for any input or examples.

  14. #14
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    I too would like to see what you have on a Fire Cadet Program.

    mrfirenut@earthlink.net
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

  15. #15
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    FFSCAR15 and THEFIRENUT,


    You've got mail!
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  16. #16
    Forum Member pletch's Avatar
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    Post we have a good program

    We have a really good program, that we have taken from sevral diffrent orginaization and adapted to our, ill send you a copy of our program and rules.

  17. #17
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    hey guys, we are also working on setting up a new junior program, in the past we've kinda had a half ***** program but we are now focusing on trying to get a good program up and running. If you guys wouldn't mind sending me any SOG's or anything you have I would greatly appreciate it

  18. #18
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rdm2253 View Post
    hey guys, we are also working on setting up a new junior program, in the past we've kinda had a half ***** program but we are now focusing on trying to get a good program up and running. If you guys wouldn't mind sending me any SOG's or anything you have I would greatly appreciate it
    I'd be glad to help, just shoot me your email address and I will get it to you ASAP.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  19. #19
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    Default Cadet Program Assistance request

    Hey everyone. I have been tasked by my department to come up with a Cadet Program and give a presentation to a group. I was reading though this thread and would really appreciate any feedback and/or documents you all can send me on programs you run or have any information on. My email is sderosalia@bifd.org

    Thank you for your help.

    Sal DeRosalia
    Volunteer FF/EMT-B
    Bainbridge Island Fire Department
    Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
    sderosalia@bifd.org

  20. #20
    Forum Member PhiAlpha44's Avatar
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    Default

    I am starting up the cadet program and my department. I'd like it to help with our low numbers at some out lying stations. I also think that some of the current bickering and silly issues that arise will self-correct with cadets around that are looking up to the guys. I think having some younger members around will make some current members auto-correct when they know they're an example to someone else.

    I would LOVE to see some of the applications / SOG's and recruiting pools you use to find your cadets.

    Thanks so much

    KyleLuebbe@yahoo.com
    Last edited by PhiAlpha44; 07-02-2013 at 10:10 AM. Reason: add email address
    You're never as good as you think are, you're never as bad as you think you are.

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