Exploring the Future

Young adults test their career options at the White Bear Lake Fire Department.

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.