Fire & Emergency Service Career Exploring is open to young men and women ages 14 (and completed the 8th grade) and not yet 21 years old with an interest in learning more about careers in the field of Fire & Emergency Services.

Fire & Emergency Services Exploring is a hands-on program that exposes participants to many career experiences, leadership opportunities, and community service activities. The primary goals of the program are to help young adults choose a career path within fire and emergency services and to challenge them to become responsible citizens of their communities and country.

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The Junior firefighter program give our nation’s youth the chance to learn about local fire, rescue, and emergency medical services response organizations in a safe, controlled, educational, and fun way and provides them with valuable life skills such as teamwork, leadership, responsibility, and commitment. It also provides the department with nonoperational support and a powerful recruitment mechanism.

Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department’s program began in 2010 as ‘Fire Explorers’ and eventually changed to ‘Junior Firefighters’ in 2022; bringing together young adolescences interested in fighting fires from Loleta, Ferndale, Hydesville, and Fortuna.


The most popular Fire & Emergency Services Exploring careers include:

  • Fire Fighters
  • Paramedics
  • Emergency Technicians
  • Ambulance Corps
  • Search & Rescue Services
  • Wildland Fire Fighters

You get to experience firsthand what it’s like to be a volunteer or full-time Fire fighter & Emergency Service provider through firefighting training & ride alongs during actual fire calls.

Agencies from various, federal, state, and local levels coordinate the Fire and Emergency Services Exploring programs throughout the United States. The majority of the community programs are managed by local fire departments. In addition, several national agencies offer their support. The International Association of Fire Chiefs, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), and US Forest Service provide national programs, scholarships, workshops, and literature.

Nationally, over 22,500 Explorers participate in 1,754 Fire and Emergency Services Posts. The program highlights include: the National Fire and Emergency Services Exploring Conferences, ride-alongs, career achievement and proficiency awards, training scenarios, and scholarship opportunities.

Side-of-PageYou will have an opportunity to participate in hands-on projects to give you a real feel for whether this career is the right one for you.

You will learn about the educational requirements for a career in Fire & Emergency Service and will receive tangible advice on steps you could take now to prepare and position yourself for a successful career in the field of Fire & Emergency Service.

Fire & Emergency Service Career Exploring will provide you with the following benefits:

  • Improved self-confidence
  • Leadership experience and social network development
  • Fun and Exciting “hands-on” career experiences
  • Community service opportunities
  • College & Career Readiness preparation
  • Scholarship opportunities

When do meetings take place?

Fire & Emergency Service Career Exploring posts typically meet on a monthly basis during the school year. Most programs parallel the high school calendar and begin in the fall. There are a number of programs that start at other times during the year to meet the needs of the host organization and participants. Programs are flexible enough to fit in with other activities.

Program Costs:

The Fire & Emergency Service Career Exploring program is very affordable with participation fees ranging from $15 to $25 per year. Special activities, events, leadership academies and conferences may cost more and would be determined by the local Exploring post.

Are you interested in emergency medicine or becoming an EMT? Do you want to be a part of the community and help people? Do you like being physically active and challenging yourself?

If you answer yes to any of these or are intrigued by anything else that was discussed in this article, don’t hesitate and sign up!


Complete the Youth Application Form and mail to:


320 S Fortuna Blvd
Fortuna, CA 95540

Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department