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  • Need some help here guys

    Maybe you juniors and explorers can help and older guy out. My Chief asked me to jump start our Junior program yesterday and I'm looking for some links or info to get started. I'm an Eagle from back in the '80s so I have some BSA background but we're not dead set on an Explorer post.
    Anyone have any opinions on pros/cons for Explorer vs. Jr.?
    How about some good places to start?

    What are your programs like?
    BTW my department is a combination dept. I'm one of 7 career FFs and we have about 30 call men.

    TIA

  • #2
    Our Explorer post is pretty close to it's one year anniversary. While not an advisor, I have paid close attention and helped where possible. Check out www.learning-for-life.org It has lots of info about Explorer posts of different types. We have had Junior members of our department for the past 30 years and continue to do so. Our Explorer post is setup for ages 14-16. At age 16, the person then joins as a Junior FF. It seemed too much like a duplication to have Explorers and Junior's, so we limited the Explorers. Good Luck.

    PS - we are volunteer.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    • #3
      Our Junior program (ages 16-22) trains members of the program to become exterior FFs. Qualified members respond to the firehouse and ride apparatus to the scene and take part in exterior operations on the fireground. We are a volunteer department and this program is governed by the department. We have a similar program for ages 14-16, which is classroom based program only. From what I have heard and seen about the BSA Explorer programs, many have very strict rules/regs about member participation. (e.g. riding apparatus, tools, being on the fireground). If you are looking to start a program, I highly recomend having a program that is governed by your department. It allows members to really get a sense of the fire service and how we go about things. I have been involved with our JR program for 5 years, let me know if you have any further questions.

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      • #4
        thanks for the replies,
        GetAlife, I'm curious about your comment that the junior program is better than explorer. Can you expand on that?

        Thanks

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        • #5
          Really stress in depth classroom training and make them earn the right to get gear and do drills.
          We follow the material from the Massachusetts Fire Academy because we are from-----Massachusetts. And since we all plan on being career jakes in this state,we will end up going there anyway. So its basicly has been a two year study guide for us.
          The in-depth classroom training and hands on demonstrations have proved effective in the field during intensive drills because we ran circles around the other kids that just did drills in there post and lacked the indepth knowledge and tactics.

          Hope this helped
          -dfd

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GetALife
            From what I have heard and seen about the BSA Explorer programs, many have very strict rules/regs about member participation. (e.g. riding apparatus, tools, being on the fireground
            That is not what the BSA rules say, and they aren't very strict, they are safe. as far as explorers riding on appratus is concerned, All it says is that they have to wear a seat belt. As far as tools are concerned, they can use most, but cannot handle energized electrical lines (power lines) or use hydraulic rescue equipment. As far as firegrounds are concerned, it just states the obvious that explorers are not personnel and should not perform ventilation or interior attacks on burning structures, but may enter once the fire in under control, or extinguished. Watch what you say unless you specifically know what the BSA allows and doesn't allow you to do. The obvious advantage to an explorer program is the BSA provides the insurance if an explorer were to get hurt, injured, or even killed. I don't know what the law says regarding Jrs, and who is held responsible if something happens to them.
            Aaron
            Firefighter/Paramedic

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            • #7
              Junior programs seem to be much better for several reasons

              1}. In our area there are a bunch of Junior programs and only one place with an explorer program. The Jr. programs have higher membership because teens feel they are actually in a fire dept. ( Not to say explorers aren't, but it makes more sense as you read) as opposed to the explorer program which is felt here to just be an extension of the BSA.

              2}. Like GetaLife said I have heard that the explorer programs have strict rules concerning particpation and age. Where as these are decided on by the senior members of the dept. in a Jr. Program

              3}. The Explorer program rules are nation wide and set by the BSA advisory committee where the rules of the junior programs are set specifically to the area of the fire dept. by the members who know you and know what you are capable of and responsible enough to do.

              4}. As Far as saftey,there about the same as long as responsible people are in charge.

              5}. The only obvious disadvantage is the fire dept. is responsible for the insurance in a Jr. program, which usually is not a big deal.

              6}. The explorer program requires you to pay BSA dues all of which goes to the BSA and not to the dept. Not to mention that the Dept.has no control over these fees which always seem to be going up.

              7}. The BSA's Beliefs and Values are reflected in the explorer program which some times tends to discourage people from going on and becoming a firefighter in the dept.

              So Far we have had both programs and the people involved and the Fire Dept. Have benefited more from the Junior program than the explorers of the past couple of years.

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              • #8
                Hey, im an explorer, but i dont know how juniors are run, but i know how the explorers are. We can ride on all call except 1st alarms and out of district calls. The BSA provides us with insurance and lets us stay as long as we stay out of burning buildings, we cant do auto extracation. we can have live burns in our burn tower, but we cannot even train with our rescue(holmatro/Jaws of Life) equiptment. I have not been told that we have to pay BSA dues, most explorers arent even in a scout troop. This is as far as my knowledge goes, if u have any questions or corrections please feel free to ask/tell.
                What's With HIPAA anyway, does anyone really care. I saw we burn it, but be cool about fire safety!

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                • #9
                  The main thing that becoming and Explorer provides is INSURANCE. A lot more insurance. That is the main reason why we became Explorers. As for rules. They are safe as someone said before. The strictness is no big deal. Nothing that we didnt face before. The only real big change is the insurance, which we will hopefully never have to use.
                  IACOJ

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fyrfyter33


                    That is not what the BSA rules say, and they aren't very strict, they are safe. as far as explorers riding on appratus is concerned, All it says is that they have to wear a seat belt. As far as tools are concerned, they can use most, but cannot handle energized electrical lines (power lines) or use hydraulic rescue equipment. As far as firegrounds are concerned, it just states the obvious that explorers are not personnel and should not perform ventilation or interior attacks on burning structures, but may enter once the fire in under control, or extinguished. Watch what you say unless you specifically know what the BSA allows and doesn't allow you to do. The obvious advantage to an explorer program is the BSA provides the insurance if an explorer were to get hurt, injured, or even killed. I don't know what the law says regarding Jrs, and who is held responsible if something happens to them.

                    I was gonna say that our regs are really diffrent from what the first post was said, then I found this, and this my frineds are our rules.
                    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

                    IACOJ 2003

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