It seems the defining question of young adulthood is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While this question might seem daunting, there is a program for those considering a career in fire service or first response: the Fire Explorers program through the White Bear Lake Fire Department. Explorers ages 14 to 21 years participate in search-and-rescue drills, operate hose lines, throw ladders and learn basic knowledge alongside firefighters.
For some, this might lead directly to a career. Lead advisor Dave Peterson says, “[The participants] can see if it’s something they’re interested in, and we’ve hired quite a few of our Explorers on as EMS [Emergency Medical Services].” The Fire Explorers program has been operating for more than 20 years, and involves hands-on learning, statewide competitions and a small research project. Those interested can apply by downloading the application here.