Interested in helping to fight a wildfire? How about climbing a fire truck ladder? The Greenbush Fire Department for a fifth year is giving local junior and senior students such hands-on firefighting opportunities through the Explorer Program.
“Hopefully, it (this program) helps departments down the road for their recruitment,” Greenbush Fire Chief Randy Jenson said. “The minute that they see that they’ve been an Explorer, they kind of move to the top of the list as far as joining other fire departments.”
This year’s program began on September 19 with the group’s first meeting. The participants meet once a month and will do so through May 2022. Each day, the training begins at 6 pm and usually lasts two to three hours.
The 2021-22 program has 23 junior and senior students involved— a mix of both boys and girls. The past couple years the program has included more girls than boys.
Numerous Greenbush Fire Department members lead these young individuals through this program, including Jenson, Jared Foss, Jamen Foss, Bryton Foss, Landon Olson, and Matt Huntley.
Each month, they teach Explorer participants the different aspects of being a firefighter. The program goes through personal protective equipment (PPE), self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), search and rescue, ladders, hose lays, and water supply— giving participants the chance to pump water.
They bring in the DNR to have it go through wildfire fighting with the participants. They also get them certified in CPR and the automated external defibrillator (AED) machine.
Jenson wanted to recognize a group of people in the community who made a donation to help with this unique program. As part of Border Bank’s “Cultivate Giving” program,” five Border Bank employees in Greenbush decided to give to the community’s Explorer program.
As part of the “Cultivate Giving” program, Jenson explained, Border Bank gives $200 to each one of their employees to donate to a non-profit organization of their choice. The five Border Bank employees to donate their funds to the Explorer program includes: Sandy Duray, Kristine Ingle, Joni Mooney, Nick Selvog, and Lynette Gustafson. These funds will go towards Explorer program apparel, including a coat, polo shirt, and sweatpants.
“The Explorer program would like to give a big thank you towards the employees of the Border Bank,” Jenson said.
He also expressed thanks to the Greenbush-Middle River School for supporting this program and allowing the department to stop by and visit with the students about it.
Interested in also helping out the program? Explorer participants are selling tickets for a cash drawing. The drawing will be held at the group’s next meeting on October 17. It’s a chance to support students through a unique opportunity, from learning how to fight a wildfire to climbing a fire truck ladder, and just exploring a role, a job that exists across countless communities.
To see the complete story, read the October 6 issue of The Tribune in print or online.