Fire and Rescue Explorer Program Open House

Harlem-Roscoe Firefighter Radi Huggard and Brandon Tietz ladder the roof of a duplex on Burr Oak Rd in Roscoe.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Rockford Fire Department wants to grow its ranks so it has restarted an old program to get more teens interested in a career as a first responder.

The department hosted an open house Monday night at Giovanni’s for the recently re-instated Fire and Rescue Explorer Program. It’s open to Rockford residents between the ages of 14 and 18. The teens get hands on training and experience in fire and rescue operations. Rockford's fire chief says this is a great way for them to get a feel for a future career as an EMT or firefighter.

“Nobody wants to follow a career unless they get hands on and find out what it’s about,” says Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten. “It’s one of those things that once you learn, you get passionate about serving the community and the skills you can learn there. That’s what we’re hoping to cultivate in individuals from the city of Rockford.”

Applications to the Fire and Rescue Explorer program are due December 10th. To get one, stop at Rockford Fire Department Headquarters at 204 1st Street. You can also call (815) 987-5660.

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