Cadet & Fire Explorer Programs Introduce Youth to Fire Service
Starting a Firefighter Cadet program or Junior Firefighter programs is a great way to introduce 15 to 18 years old who are interested in firefighting, and the possibility of pursuing a career in emergency services. These programs allow them to get to know their local fire department and participate in community service projects and fundraisers.
Experience & Leadership
Explorers, Fire Cadet, and Junior Firefighter programs encourage community involvement and leadership opportunities. In addition, students learn about fire science and are taught basic firefighting skills. These students will participate in fire department activities such as riding along on calls and observing scene operations. Although the programs are not intended to be for direct recruitment for future firefighters, it is a great way to introduce them to the fire service and to provide mentoring.
Starting a Junior Firefighter Program
If your department is interested in starting a high school cadet or Junior Firefighting program the non-profit organization, National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has great resources, including a “starter kit.”
This kit has a student handbook, a guide with skills and competencies outlined, and documents such as a program application, parent information and a parental consent form, operations guidelines, and a sample press release. These can all be adapted for your organization and your program. There is also sponsorship information and recruitment ideas including videos you can use to market and encourage applicants.
Creating Partnerships for Your Firefighter Cadet Program
It’s important to enlist community partners to help support your program. Schools, businesses, clubs like Rotary International or Kiwanis, as well as the city or local government agencies can assist with recruitment, mentoring, academics, training, and financial support. Having good support behind your program, and being able to connect with and motivate these young people will be critical to their success and the success of your program.
ATS Resources for Your High School Firefighter Cadet Program
Investing in training and other instructor resources that are consistent with your protocols or that can be adapted to your operations can aid in student education. These tools can also be useful to current members as continuing education resources. Action Training Systems’ (ATS) collection of Instructor Resources can do just this.
DVDs & Curriculum Framework
Our “Basics of Firefighting: Firefighter I and II” DVD series and corresponding Facilitator Guides provide an excellent curriculum framework and a solid foundation of knowledge for your Junior Cadet program. These programs pair well with industry-standard textbooks such as J & B and IFSTA.
Also available is an EMR series that introduces basic first responder medical care. Other topics available include HAZMAT training, Incident Command and management, rescue operations, infection control, and fire officer training.
Providing highly visual resources that feature realistic scenarios and skills demonstrated by professional rescuers will help you to engage and inspire these young people. Our videos do EXACTLY this!
Visit our website for additional information and resources.