Junction to start fire explorers program

Published 6:13 am Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Junction City Fire Department is planning to implement a fire explorers program for those 14-20, after getting approval from the Junction City Council Thursday night.

Chief Troy Gammon approached the council for the first time since being named chief on January 1.

“We would like to reinstate the explorer program, some people call it junior firefighter program,” Gammon said. “It’s through the Boy Scouts.”

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The program takes the liability off of the department, he said. They can’t officially join the department until age 18.

Kendra Peek/kendra.peek@amnews.com
Fire Chief Troy Gammon speaks to the Junction City Council during Thursday’s meeting.

“We’re not trying for a day care,” Gammon said. “Basically, some of the firemen’s kids — like mine, for example — are just dying to try this. This program keeps these kids out of trouble. They have to turn in their report cards to us, they have to get good grades — no exception.”

Gammon shared how his oldest son had been a part of the program when he was younger.

“Now he’s graduated EKU, with honors, in fire service and he’s currently in California working for a forensics company doing fire investigations,” he said. “The program is a really good experience for kids.”

There’s no cost to the city, but there will be a cost for children to participate. The council approved the plan.

The council also gave their blessing for an auxiliary to be formed, to support the department by bringing water to scenes, helping with events and in other ways.

“It’s for those who want to help the fire department help but have no desire to be a firefighter,” he said, mentioning a recent house fire where auxiliary members could have been useful by bringing water for the firefighters.

Gammon also said the department has old gear that can no longer be use.

“We can’t use it for structural firefighting any more, because it is outdated. If we send anyone in with that on and they get hurt, we could get in trouble,” he said.

Douglas asked Gammon for a list of equipment the department currently has, which Gammon provided to him and the council. There was no explanation on how he will get rid of the equipment or replace it.