DUMAS, TX (KFDA) - Teenagers in Dumas who are interested in becoming firefighters will now have the chance to train with some.
The Fire Explorer program new to Dumas will give teens hands on training for fire and emergency medical situations, and it will help them decide if firefighting is a career path they want to follow.
Teens ages 14 and older who sign up to be fire explorers will go through the same extensive training Dumas firefighters go through.
"They'll actually be able to participate in our burn house, rappel off of our tower, climb the ladder," said Dumas Fire Chief Ronald Pray. "They're going to be able to do everything in training that we do as firefighters."
Pray hopes this will get more teens interested in firefighting.
"The big reason that we wanted to start the Fire Explorer program was not only to affect the kids here in Moore County and give them some opportunities that they may not have otherwise, but also use it as a way to help not only maybe find some paid firefighters down the road, but supplement our volunteer forces here," he said.
While the teens can't actually help fight the fires, they will be able to climb into the trucks and ride along and observe the first responders during any emergency situations that may happen, including fire and medical calls.
Pray said the explorers will walk away with valuable skills that will make them an asset to any fire department.
"[This will] not only build their leadership and management and organizational skills, but also give them an opportunity to decide whether our field is for them or not before they spend a lot of money going to college and realize it's not for them," said Pray.
It's not too late to sign up to be a fire explorer.
Anyone interested can sign up at the Dumas Fire Department, or by calling Pray at 806-935-6434.