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Farmington, Dakota County Explorer posts earn recognition

Area Explorer Post members include (back, left to right) Adeline Kolinski, Jacob Noll, Brett Johnson, Nick Cross, Grace Vincent, Dalten Stafford, Josh McClure, Hailey Franks, Zach Snyder, (front, left to right) Jordan Moses, Travis Folden, Joseph Glerum, Ryan Nelson, Taylor Ingham, Michelle Horhman and Alexandra Sitzman.

Local Explorers programs go a long way in training young men and women for future careers in emergency services.

They must be doing something right, too, because last week, those same Explorers received a few awards at the Northern Star Council's annual Explorers in Action banquet.

Farmington's Fire Explorers Post 9470 was honored at the Northern Star Council's Exploring Banquet March 21 in Arden Hills, along with Northfield EMS Explorers Post 3300 and Dakota County Sheriff Explorers Post 9523. The posts were given the Marketing Award and the Post Excellence Award during the banquet.

Every spring, advisors for the three area Explorer posts collaborate on training through their Explorers in Action event, a 24-hour training session initially developed by Farmington firefighter Christopher Matek, advisor to Post 9470. The training session takes the Explorers through a variety of drills, all designed to give them a working knowledge of what happens in actual emergency situations.

Much of the 2012 session was filmed and put into a 90-minute video. The Northern Star Council liked the video so much, members presented the three area posts with the Marketing Award.

"They based it on the movie that we made that covers the Explorers in Action event," Matek said. "The really cool thing is we can take snippets or pieces of it and use it to promote the post. But it's also unique in that several posts are working together for discipline, training and advancement."

In addition, the three posts were awarded the Post Excellence Award, Matek said.

"It's pretty cool. It's really nice to know our efforts are being awarded," he said.

Matek is working with Dakota County Sheriff Explorer Post 9523 advisor detective Dawanna Witt and Northfield EMS Post 3300 advisor Julia Smith to come up with the itinerary for the 2013 Explorers in Action training, which is scheduled for May 11.

"This year we're working on a really big project. We're looking to involve a lot of people," Matek said.

New Explorer of the Year

For her own part, Witt is pleased to announce that Rosemount teen Jordan Moses was named as the New Explorer of the Year for Minnesota.

Moses joined the Dakota County Sheriff Explorers Post 9523 in October, 2012, and it didn't take him long to impress just about everyone he worked with, including Witt.

Moses was recognized for his level of commitment to his community and helping others. Since coming on last fall, he has participated in numerous training sessions, Witt said. He is mature, makes sound decisions, has an outstanding work ethic and has an understanding of what makes a good law enforcement officer, she added.

"He's an awesome leader," Witt said. "You can probably tell, I really like him."

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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