‘Exploring’ will benefit participants, city

Published 11:23 am Tuesday, September 21, 2010

By Stephen Dawkins

“Policeman” and “fireman” might be two popular careers among children enticed by flashing lights and fire hoses, but not many people really have what it takes.

A program being implemented in Jemison will allow young adults to decide whether they want to go into public safety.

A meeting will be held Saturday at Jemison Fire Department to kick off the city’s Public Safety Exploring program, which is an initiative of Boy Scouts of America.

“A lot of people may think they want to be a fireman, but the day in, day out stuff of that job can give people an idea of, ‘Is this really what I want to do?’” Jemison Fire Chief John Dennis said.

The program is designed for those 14-18, or through 21 if the person is still a student. Participants partner with local public safety departments to get an idea of what the jobs actually entail.

Even if some Explorers decide they don’t want to be a firefighter or police officer, something is still accomplished.

“It gives us an opportunity to help mold some character and some values in those students,” said Dennis, who has been involved with the Exploring program for 25 years.

Participants would meet once a week and receive training on CPR, first responder tactics, biological hazards and basic law enforcement, such as directing traffic. They would also “shadow” Jemison police officers and firefighters as they go through their daily routines.

“We’ll use them for a lot of events around the city to help with parking and traffic,” Dennis said. “Hopefully, we can be a model for other fire departments around the county, for them to use to help boost their programs.”

The program also leads into scholarship opportunities through Boy Scouts Learning For Life.

Dennis said flyers have been posted at Jemison High School. Anyone interested should call Dennis at 688-4492.