The Oregon Fire Department is offering area youth a chance to get a head start on a career.
The department has partnered with the Blackhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts of America to form an Exploring Post for youth ages 16-18 to get a close-up look at being a firefighter or paramedic.
Three potential explorers turned out to learn more at a meeting Nov. 15 at the fire station, where Fire Chief Mike Knoup showed a video about the program and gave a short presentation before showing the teens and their parents around the fire station and equipment.
Experienced fire department personnel will do the training, and junior firefighters will be taken on ride-alongs to actual calls, where they will be allowed to observe but not participate.
They will, however, participate in Monday night training drills, learning procedures, skills, and how to run the equipment.
“You will learn life skills as well as firefighting skills,” Knoup said. “This is not just a career path to being a firefighter or paramedic. It can also give you base knowledge for becoming a nurse or a doctor. It offers helpful skills for any career and looks good on resumes and college applications.”
The program also offers participants hospital-based emergency medical technician (EMT) classes and regional fire recruit academy classes, Knoup said.
“It can give you a head start on training while you’re still in high school,” he said. “Then you can take the tests after you turn 18.”
For more information call Knoup at 815-732-7214.