Explorer Post 701 looking for recruits

Clayton County teenagers, with an interest in public service, and curiosity about fire and emergency services operations, are invited to join Explorers Post 701, to get a better understanding of what emergency personnel do on the job.

The program is open to boys and girls, at least 14 years of age, but not yet 20. There is a one-time fee of $20 for those accepted. Explorers must maintain passing grades in all classes, with an overall average of C. They must be able to attend 80 percent of the meetings, and have transportation to those meetings.

Other requirements can be accessed through the web site.

Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke said the program gives teens a chance to explore their interest in a career in firefighting. "This is a program of activities that helps youths pursue their special interests, grow and develop in the career of firefighters," she said. "Fire exploring provides experiences to help young people mature, and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults, by giving back to their community."

In addition to training in firefighting skills and emergency medical procedures, Explorers participate in community-service projects. Past projects include volunteering at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which contributed to delivering food to feed more than 12,000 people. Another project involved collecting more than 15 bags of clothes for donation to the Rainbow House in Jonesboro. The Rainbow House helps rebuild families and lives through providing temporary shelter for abused, neglected and abandoned children.

There is also time for fun. Explorers enjoy hiking, skeet shooting, educational excursions, paint ball, and more.

Sometimes, Explorers grow up to become trained firefighters. Elena Carranza graduated from Morrow High School and joined the local Explorers post. Little more than a year later, Carranza began training for a career in firefighting. She graduated with dozens of other firefighters last summer.

Open enrollment for Explorers ends Feb. 29. Applications can be downloaded from www.post701.com. For more information, access an automated message, at (678) 610-4729.