The Explorer program provides young men and women age 14 to 20 opportunities to explore the fire service as a career while providing experiences which help develop interpersonal, leadership and organizational skills. Explorers not only get an immersive first-hand look at the fire service, but they are also given the opportunity to enjoy organized social activities, competitive events, and community interaction while working in a professional atmosphere. Explorers are exposed to all aspects of public safety, with an emphasis placed on fire and EMS skillsets. Ulster County Explorers go through training with Ulster County Fire Instructors and mentors, to meet the recommended "Best Practices" developed by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control. The objectives of the Explorer training are to promote learning, teamwork, leadership, and organization with a hands-on approach that allows the member to experience fire department operations under the close supervision of professionals. At the age of 16, they would be able to join the local volunteer fire department within their community which opens more training opportunities as well as partake in a tuition reimbursement through the Fireman's Association of the State of New York for college credits attained from a New York State chartered two-or-four-year school.
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