Thread: Junior/Explorer Program ?'s
10-17-2006, 02:22 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2000
Junior/Explorer Program ?'s
First and foremost, I am in favor of having junior/explorer/cadet/etc..programs for learning tools only and future job interest. This specifically applies to CHILDREN under 18 yrs of age....
It seems to me(I could be wrong)that many of these programs exist in great numbers on the east coast. And that doesn't really matter.
So here are a few questions that may have debateable issues.
Do many of these programs exist in Volunteer companies or Dept's?
To what extent are your junior members allowed to operate in your dept?(ie.suppression during real emergency calls,EMS,training and PR only...etc..etc..)
Do your juniors ride out on apparatus for calls? Are they covered under workman's comp?
Should they recieve benefits?
Does being a Junior in your dept, get you automatic preference for hiring when you reach the age of employment in your city/jurisdiction?
Are Juniors (old enough to drive) aloowed to use emergency lighting on their POV or operate fire apparatus?
I ask these ?'s because it seems there have been many accidents or deaths involving children operating in emergency situations, where they should not be...I don not care if your town does not have the resources and must rely on KIDS. This is IMO no excuse and dangerous.
Other than that and as I stated in the beginning the junior programs can be good for young kids to learn some of the things that go into being a firefighter. It can work as a great after school club or summer workshop.
10-17-2006, 02:52 PM #2
First things first, there have most certainly not been many accidents and deaths involving children at emergency scenes. Your letting the few that you can count on one hand being big news media spectacles make it sound like a bigger problem than it really is. One of the most prominent ones had nothing to do with age... the adult driving the apparatus was drunk. In another, he was hit by a car on his bike while pedaling to the firehouse which could happen to any kid riding a bike anywhere. These two high profile incidents didn't have anything to do with emergency calls or age. It would have happened to any other kid or any other adult. So those are bad examples.
Our explorers can be age 14-18. They all get full sets of turnout gear and can partcipate in all training events for the deartment. They can respond to calls once they are 15yrs old, although most really don't start until they can drive themselves with their own drivers license. They'll get rides from parents when they can. No explorers can use any kind of warning lights or sirens. Explorers respond to the firehouse first and ride apparatus to the scene.
Out explorers are not allowed in any IDLH atmosphere and they are not allowed to be on air. This precludes them from interior firefighting and hazmat hotzones. They are also limited to climbing ladders no higher than 6ft. They can do pretty much anything else and we use them their fullest extent.
No, we do not NEED them, that is not the purpose. Yes, they should get all the benefits as an adult who is wounded or killed in the line of duty. They do receive insurance through the BSA since we are an explorer post. In the absense of that, the town insurance would cover them just like they do for the adults.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
10-17-2006, 02:54 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2000
- SW MO
We just formed our post, going through the Learning for Life organization. They've got certain stipulations on what they can and can't do. If they do ride, they must be belted, no entering a fire building unless it's under control, no operating equipment, etc. A lot of it is dictated by state child labor law, as well.
As for the vollie/career thing, we're vollie and have a post. I also know a number of other vollie posts around my area, but predominately they're career. It's a lot easier for them to ride with the career departments. We're actually trying to work with a couple of the career departments to allow our explorers to ride with them and find out what a career in the fire service is like and the differences between it and vollie.
10-17-2006, 03:30 PM #4
Originally Posted by ehs7554
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
Our explorers ride apparatus, as the last man on. A qualified firefighter is available, they don't go. A non-firefighter EMT is available, they don't go. They don't make the apparatus, they don't go (no responding POV). They are covered by the insurance of the local BSA council.
The idea that anyone is relying on explorers for actual fire surpression is just silly. I don't know of any department that does this. The fact is that explorer posts are a lot of work; the payoff is not in immediate help, it is encouraging long-term involvement with the fire service.
I give our explorer advisor a lot of credit; he works like a dog anf the payoff for the department is years away. Talk about delayed gratification. The upside is that about half our department (we're POC) are graduates of our explorer program. So we have an unusually young and well-conditioned department. And because they get an early start on training, they are well trained and experienced as well.
New Hampshire has a program for explorers at the state fire academy. They can also attend trainings at the department fire schools, on a space available basis.
A couple of words on the general tone of your piece. First, regarding your statement that there have been many deaths of explorers. I believe that statement to be factually incorrect. I am aware of three deaths in the past 10 years. One was a kid who got hit while riding his bike to the station (he could have been going to the store for milk and had the same happen) One was killed by an idiot driver a tanker DUI. And the last was killed while in his stepdads truck responding to a rescue call (shouldn't have been there, IMHO, but explorer status has nothing to do with it).
Second, yes they are CHILDREN. But I have news for you. My brother joined the New Hampshire Army National Guard at 17. There is nothing magical about having reached a particular date on a calendar.
10-17-2006, 04:14 PM #5
I forgot. We are 110% volunteer so there are no career advancement perks.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
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