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Fire department launches Explorer program

Lots of kids say they want to be a firefighter when they grow up. The Farmington Fire Department can help make that dream come true.

On Thursday, the fire department will hold its first Farmington Fire Explorers program information meeting at Fire Station 1. Anyone between the age of 14 (having completed eighth grade) and 21 is welcome to attend and learn more about the program.

Firefighter Christopher Matek is organizing the local Fire Explorers program, which will meet monthly. The program is designed to teach participants about all types of things related to fire fighting. Participants will go through modified fire training, learn about government issues and regulations, and even get some leadership training.

"The idea is, kids get trained in on a lot of things," Matek said.

Participants within the age limit can enroll at any time, though those who begin as freshmen or sophomores and follow the program through until early adulthood would likely progress in training over time and ultimately get more from the program than someone who joins at age 19 or 20.

"The longer they go, they can get into more complex training, leadership training, and in some cases, officer training," Matek said.

This is not the first time for an Explorer program in Farmington. Over time, though, the previous program dissolved. Now, Matek and a few other firefighters are trying to bring it back.

The fire department has had a few requests from some younger members of the community who were interested in participating in training sessions, Matek said.

"We talked about it and found out the Explorer program would be the best way to go, so we have just kind of taken it from there," he said.

The information session is free and open to anyone within the age limit. It begins at 6 p.m. For more information or to make reservations, call Christopher Matek at 612-730-1270.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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