Hudson Fire Explorers Show Dedication, Commitment to Service

October 9, 2015

 

by Doug Robinson

Since the 1940s, Hudson Fire Department professionals have been grooming and growing Hudson’s youth in fire service.  A commitment to serve, both within the fire department and the community is the core value taught.

The Hudson Fire Department adopted the program established by the Boy Scouts during the 1970s and formally established the Explorer Post at that time.

Youth between the ages of 14 to 21 are eligible to become an Explorer.  Currently the HFD Fire Explorer Post 551 has 15 youth involved.

Those who have served in years past a Hudson Explorer are now working as firefighters in Florida, Colo.  Approximately, 40 to 50 Explorer graduates have entered the fire service as a firefighter or as an EMT/paramedic throughout the United States.

The Explorers train and live side by side the Hudson professionals as they learn fire service, fire safety, and the commitment required to community as demonstrated by Hudson firefighters.

“All Explorers follow the same probationary program that our probationary firefighters follow.  They, too, are required to be probationary firefighters for six months before they are accepted into the program,” commented Captain Dave Morin.

During their experiences as an Explorer, they will learn CPR, perform ride-a-longs, learn department policies and procedures regarding fire suppression perform truck and equipment checks, and live as a firefighter.

Explorers are also separated into a work structure consisting of firefighters, captain, and a chief.  As they learn and grow within the program, they are encouraged to interview for promotions as well as assume leadership roles.  “These life lessons prepare these kids for what will happen to them later in life and teaches them what to expect.  It prepares them for a career.  The Explorers are very dedicated and want to learn and grow,” explained Captain Morin.

The Hudson Fire Explorers spend considerable time helping out neighboring communities, as well as Hudson.  During this past weekend, they assisted in the opening of the new Fire Training Center in Nashua and then went to Manchester to assist with a parade.

Recently, they worked behind the scenes to not only set up the Hudson Community Center for the Heroin in Hudson – A Community Discussion, they also broke down all the chairs and tables.  At the discussion, they could be seen distributing water to the nearly 200 people in attendance.

“We strive to teach the Explorers what it means to be a Hudson firefighter.  When they put on that shirt, they represent the Hudson Fire Department and they are to act accordingly.  When our phones ring, we answer.  Period.  We are here to serve, and every Explorer understands that value,” stated Captain Morin.

The Explorers can be routinely seen standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their adult peers not only at most motor vehicle accidents, but at fires as well.  In addition, they ring the Salvation Army bell, assist with station tours and participate in all Hudson Fire Department functions.

“Being involved in community is as big a response to our community as our answering those calls.  People look up to firefighter and that is a responsibility they must embrace.”

The Hudson Fire Explorers have a bedroom dedicated for their learning should they chose to work a full shift at the fire department.  In this arena, the Explorers perform every duty necessary and required during a firefighter’s normal shift.  Should a call come in during their shift, they will ride with the captain on duty, fully dressed in their turn-down gear, ready for what that call may bring.

The Explorers are not allowed to participate in sensitive situations involving personal injuries or calls where the Explorers may not be suited, these Explorers are learning as they attend school by participating in a “live-in” Fire Department program.  “This type of working/educational relationship affords the new firefighter with both hands-on experience with an education,” stated Captain Morin.

The Manchester Fire Department has hired four Hudson Fire Explorer graduates, while the Nashua Fire Department has taken on six Hudson Fire Explorers.

The Hudson Fire Department has hired four graduates, and they are currently working as full-time Hudson firefighters.