Explorer Post holds first meeting

The first official meeting of the Junior Fire/EMS Explorer Post was held last week.

Kids interested in futures as fire fighters or EMTs now have a group of similarly interested youth from around the region.

The Junior Fire/EMS Explorer Post of Warren held its first meeting on Monday, Oct. 2 at the Warren Area Student Union. The group is open to all youth in Warren County between the ages of 14 to 20. Activities will include volunteering, as well as educational experiences for local students who are considering becoming first responders in their futures.

Two of the first members already have fire fighting in their blood. Jacob Bullock said that his grandfather was a fire fighter. His helmet hung in Jacob’s grandmother’s garage for years, he said. Jacob recalled that his grandfather used to park his fire truck at the house, and even at a young age Jacob said his grandmother used to put the fire helmet on his head.

It’s a part of his family’s history, he said, that he’d like to carry on.

Lucas Weber also said that his great grandfather was the chief of the North Warren Volunteer Fire Department for a long time. Being a first responder, he said, is part of the legacy he’d like to carry on as well.

The group is comprised of adult advisors and a youth governing board who will direct what exactly the post does. The goal is to get youth interested in becoming first responders both exposure to and experience with the field, including certifications in things like first aid.

It’s not just for those who want to be fire fighters or EMTs, though, said advisor Sharon Fasenmyer.

“A lot of doctors and nurses were first responders to start,” she said. “Exploring is an opportunity to build skills that you don’t normally have an opportunity to develop until later in life.”

It may also help youth make career decisions more quickly and efficiently, said Fasenmyer, and gives them skills to build on out of the gate.

There used to be a Fire/EMS Explorer post in Warren, said advisor Jeff Manelick. But as engagement with fire and EMS response agencies dwindled over the years, he said, the post died out.

“This is our chance to resurrect it,” said Manelick. “The need for volunteers is critical,” he said, adding that there’s a lack of major infrastructure in rural areas like Warren, meaning that volunteer fire departments are integral to public safety.

“People’s lives are at stake,” said Fasenmyer. “Being part of the community means giving back to the community,” she said, and being an EMT or fire fighter is one way to do that. “If no one steps up to help out,” said Manelick, “then no one will be there when it’s needed.”

Find out more about the Fire/EMS Explorer Post in Warren by finding them on Facebook.