The Explorer Post at the Central Emergency Services (CES) in Soldotna is based on Scouting, according to Jack Anderson, CES engineer paramedic and Explorer program coordinator, "With that the mission of the Explorer post is to train young people to further themselves in any career they choose. At our post they get real firefighting experience and exposure to everything that a firefighting career will bring them," explained Anderson.
While the program is based on Scouting, past experience with a Scouting program is not a requirement to become an Explorer at CES. Currently there are six young people from the local area participating in the program, but Anderson says they can accommodate up to fourteen or fifteen people. Kimberly Martin is an International Future Problem Solving champion and a member of the Explorers.
"As an explorer we've been exposed to all types of training and as a result this summer I was able to take the Firefighter 1 course, which when I turn 18 will allow me to be a licensed firefighter," said Martin, who is considering going to paramedic school and studying fire science in college next year. Another FPS Champ, John Gomulak, is also a CES Explorer, "It's a chance to hang out with a lot of the guys I know from school, and I plan on being an EMT in the future and this is just a great thing to do. It goes way above and beyond anything we ever did as a scout troop," said Gomulak.
Justin Nusunginya joined the CES Explorers because he's thinking of becoming a firefighter as a future career, "I get to see what they do and do what they do, and it's a lot of fun," added Nusunginya. Comparing the Explorers to all the other activities he could be involved with Nusunginya favors the Explorers. "I get to play with fire, breakdown doors, it's totally a lot of fun," said Nusunginya whose brother Bryan is also in the program. The group meets every Friday at CES in Soldotna from 6:00-8:00pm and new members are still being accepted, for more information contact Jack Anderson at 262-4792, or stop by a meeting.
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