ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
The OSF Flightline helicopter landed in the parking lot so the crew (posing with the Explorers) could enjoy some spaghetti and they could support the Explorer program.

By Anne Eickstadt

The Boone County Firefighter Explorers held their annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser at the Boone County Fire District 2 station in Poplar Grove on Saturday, Feb. 22. The funds will be used to maintain and purchase new equipment to outfit the youth and help their training be more comprehensive. The Explorers group is run under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America and the trainers are certified with the BSA. Explorer groups are sponsored by professions as a way to introduce and young persons to careers that they may wish to enter as they become adults. The current roster of kids includes four young women who are learning firefighting techniques. As the other Explorers during this event, they were continuously busy serving guests and helping with whatever needed to be done. In Boone County, Explorer programs can be found for Firefighting and Law Enforcement.

Several Boone County Explorers have recently been hired on at local Boone County Fire Districts. Some of these successfully hired Explorers were at the Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday.

Josh Morall, who just graduated from the Army National Guard (Army Reserve Firefighter), was hired on in Capron. “I joined this Explorers group in 2014. We started with real basics and built up from there. We’ve done just about everything. It made the (Army Reserve Firefighting) Academy in Texas a lot easier since I knew a lot of what we were doing. I built on what I already knew. When I graduated the Army National Guard, I went to Capron and picked up an application and I was recently hired a few months ago.

“I really liked being a part of the Explorers. It really gets you ready. There’s still a lot to learn, but it gives you a great start. The instructors are very knowledgeable. They truly know what they are doing. They build on what you know, make sure you really do know what you are doing and why. Then you can help the other kids and help them get through as well.”

Tyler Losh has been hired by Boone County Fire District 2. “I’ve been an Explorer here and, through working at the Donut Stand (at the Boone County Fair) I have made a lot of connections and friends. After I finished the Fire Academy, I applied down there and that’s how I got hired at District 2.

“These Explorers are a great group of kids and young adults. My primary purpose as an assistant here is to teach them techniques I have learned. I learn new things from them as well. I think we have a great group of instructors and they are taking the program in the right direction. They are really dedicated and play a huge part in our lives.”

Mike St. Germaine has also recently been hired by Boone County Fire District 2. “This program is a very good program for people thinking about getting into the Fire Services. It gives them hands-on training and learning what everything is about being a firefighter. The people who host the Explorer program go a very good job of teaching us the basics. They are always there for us and they will not stop until we know everything like the back of our hand.

“I am very grateful for them for being here for us when we need something and making sure we know everything as best we can. They really helped me with everything I know. Without this Explorer program, I don’t know where I would be now. These guys take what they do very seriously and have a good heart for it. They wanted to pass that down to us and I think they have done a very good job of doing so. They do an amazing job. They have a heart for it and show it. I don’t know where I would be without them.”

The Spaghetti Dinner ran from 4 to 8 p.m. Just after 5 p.m. the OSF Flightline helicopter landed in the parking lot so the crew could enjoy some spaghetti as well.

“We like to be out in the community, supporting such a great program as the Explorers,” said flight nurse Danielle Honea.

“We are just here to support the community and a good cause. This Explorer program is wonderful for the kids,” Pilot Andrew Putnam said.


Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.