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Farmington Fire Explorers event will give teens hands-on experience responding to emergencies

There might be a few fire trucks and ambulances driving around Farmington Saturday. Don't worry, though -- the calls they're responding to are all simulated events designed to educate area teens.

Saturday will be the second 24-hour duty-shift training for the Farmington Fire Explorer Post 9470, and Explorer advisor Christopher Matek is pretty excited for the event. Matek's been working with the Dakota County Sheriff's Explorer Post 9523 and Northfield EMS Post 3300 advisors to come up with a day full of training activities.

The events will be held at locations throughout Farmington and surrounding townships. A number of actors and actresses will be stationed at the various locations, acting out all different types of emergencies.

Last year's culminating event included a simulated accident scene complete with injuries and a car fire. While the Northfield EMS Explorers tended to the victims, the Farmington Post 9470 members put out the blaze. There were members of Farmington's fire/rescue crew on hand just in case the kids needed help.

There are about 45 students participating in Saturday's drills.

"It's going to be huge. It's going to be a lot of work for us, but it's going to be cool," he said.

Farmington Fire Explorers Post 9470 was created in December, 2010. Many of its members have already earned their Firefighter I and II certifications and their CPR certifications. One of the original members has even applied to get onto the Farmington Fire Department.

"It's a nice progression to go from an Explorer to firefighter," Matek said. "These kids are awesome. I'm very proud of them."

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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