Special to Iredell Free News

Mooresville Fire-Rescue is relaunching the MFR Explorers Program. This program provides 14- to 18-year-olds invaluable experience and knowledge of the fire service, including what our firefighters do every day.

Teens interested in learning more about the program can attend an Open House on May 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Fire Training Center, located at 2523 Charlotte Highway in Mooresville.

Explorers will get an in-person, hands-on experience as a firefighter, including training alongside MFR firefighters, riding along in the fire truck to various calls, and getting a better understanding of how rewarding it is to serve and protect our community.

Firefighter Brian Borst is a graduate of the MFR Explorers Program and encourages any interested teens to apply. He said the program opened his eyes to what firefighters do, beyond what people see in movies.

“I learned everything about turnout gear, fire trucks, extinguishers, water cans, just all your different tools. A day in the life of what the fire department does,” said Borst.

Engineer Sammy Webster also participated in the Explorer Program when he was younger. He said the program can be beneficial now and long-term.

“It can get your foot in the door full-time somewhere, but you will learn a lot of the basic knowledge. I remember some of the ride-alongs we did; we caught some good fires! I got to do a lot and see a lot,” said Webster.

Borst and Webster are two of four Explorer graduates who are currently employed at Mooresville Fire-Rescue.

“We are thrilled to restart this program and allow teens in the area to learn what we do and prepare them for a lifelong career in the fire service,” said Chief Curt Deaton. “They get to be part of the team and really experience what we do – from responding to car crashes to fires and other emergencies. The invaluable experiences they get as Explorers sets them up for a successful full-time program here or at another fire department.”

Borst said the training, insight, and experience he gained in the program solidified his decision to become a firefighter.

“My grandfather was an FDNY fireman, so I kind of knew at a younger age this is what I wanted to do. But this sealed the deal when I joined the Explorer Program when I was 15,” he said.

There are rules and requirements that teens must meet to become an Explorer, which are detailed in the application online at MooresvilleNC.gov/Explorers. Teens must have a C+ average or higher. The Explorers will meet, on average, one to two times per month.

Teens interested in joining the MFR Explorers Program are encouraged to attend MFR’s Open House on May 25. Parents must be in attendance with their teen. Questions? Please contact Captain Ryan Harrell at 704-799-4227 or by email at RHarrell@MooresvilleNC.gov.

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