What it’s like being an Explorer in high school

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PHOTO Staff

Natily Hall , Writer

Many children dreamed of being a firefighter when they were young, and their dreams are finally coming true with the Fenton Explorer program. Explorers are usually teens that see a future in being in the Fire Department when they are older.

“Explorers are set with a post-advisor who explains the rules and how everything works,” Chief of Fenton Fire Department Robert Cairnduff said.

Post-advisors are current firefighters who act as mentors. Carinduff was an Explorer when he was 15, later becoming the Chief of the Fenton Fire Department. 

“When I was an Explorer it taught me what they did and gave me an in-depth look at what all the fire department does,” Carinduff said. “We did all the training hands-on, with all equipment, when they trained we trained. We did all the same training and once we got comfortable we could go on calls.”

According to the Exploring Program official website, students have opportunities such as visiting local fire station sand medical facilities, training sessions, attending national conferences and more. Students must be 14-19 years old to be an Explorer at the Fenton Fire Department.

“I learned to be reliable and accountable,” graduate Jacob Avendt said, after participating in the explore program. “When you make a commitment to the department to show up every week for training and begin to respond to emergencies immediately, you have to stay true to that commitment because if you don’t do your part they will hold you accountable for it.”

Not only do Explorers gain practical fire fighting knowledge they can also learn life skills they use in their daily life.

“I use those lessons for work or any other commitment I make today,”  Avendt said.“It’s always important to be on time and do your best, and if you make a mistake or fail to do your part, own up to it and improve yourself, I liked the experience because it taught me a lot and gave me so much respect for the people that volunteer to make sure their community safe.”

To find out more about becoming an Explorer for the fire department, visit the explorer website.