Cynthiana Firefighters are giving kids the opportunity to experience an life of a firefighter.
Almost every child dreams of becoming something one day.
Some like to dress-up like doctors and lawyers and role play in front of an audience of stuffed animals.
Another popular childhood ambition, however, is to one day rush into a burning building and save the lives of families.
Although fire fighting is typically not what kids have dreamed it to be, Cynthiana Firefighters are giving aspiring young adults the opportunity to see what being a firefighter is really like.
The program, Fire Explorers, was started in 2000 and given the post number 254 after the late Lt. John Slade.
The organization, which is made of 11 young adults, tries to promote commitment, integrity and furthering education or job skills.
“It is not just about trying to recruit young men and women to be firefighters,” said Asst. Chief Darrin Hawkins. “In a way, we serve as mentors to these kids for a variety of issues that they face everyday.”
Hawkins said the group meets every month and receives training in fire safety as well as training towards becoming a licensed firefighter.
“The available ages for the group is 14-21, and they get the same training that every firefighter goes through,” explained Hawkins. “They get to cut cars in half, learn to repel from buildings, how to operate equipment and much more.”
Despite the certified training, students in the organization are not called to any emergency calls received by the Cynthiana Fire Department.
“This is more of a way for them to find out if they really want to become firefighters or not,” said Chief Jay Sanders. “It is nice when young people have the opportunity to see what a job is like before they become involved in it.”
Hawkins added that some of those who have participated in the program have gone on to work at fire stations.
“Some have gone on to be firefighters, some have gone into the military and I have a few that went on to college because of this program,” said Hawkins. “It is an alternative to sports and it can teach young men and women so much.”
In the end, Sanders said that the program is designed to be all about growing the young generation stronger than the previous one.
“Our main goal is to make these young men and women better citizens,” said Sanders. “If every young person was involved with something positive that they really had to work at, the world would end-up being a better place.”
Hawkins said that the program is offered to anyone interested between the ages of 14 and 21. The program is offered year-round with no specific sign-up date.
“All they have to do is call us and come to the meetings,” said Hawkins.
For more information about Fire Explorers, contact the Cynthiana Fire Department at 234-7158.