Learning, growing as an Explorer

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hurry, go and get an adult AMBU bag off of 85 now.

Take his blood pressure. Get in there and help. Rookie,

go scrub those toilets. Go clear the scanner.

Those are just some of the statements I have heard in the past year from the &8220;guys.&8221;

I am an Explorer with

Southeast Shelby County Rescue in Columbiana.

The current Explorer members are Taylor Payne, Clint Carden, James Reaves and me.

Graduated Explorer members are Corey Payne,

Candice Pate and Amy Platt.

Explorers who have

become members with the rescue station are Adam Corn, Steven Isbell and Nick Schoggins.

What is an Explorer?

An explorer is a male or female,

ages 14-21, who can learn what a real paramedic or EMT does on a regular basis when they run a call. At our

station, the adults have a number and just sign up when they can work.

Post 86 is located on South Main Street in Columbiana, next to Columbiana Fire Department and behind Columbiana Police department.

Our group was started by Cory Payne with about 25

members, but that number didn&8217;t last long.

Now, we are at a whopping four people &8212; one girl and three boys. For about four months, it was just Taylor and me. Now we have two new members.

My parents are protective like all good parents should be. The &8220;guys&8221; say that an Explorer&8217;s safety comes before their own. If we get a psychiatric call, when police

have to be called or work a bad wreck, we have to stay in the truck, sometimes for a long time.

The longest that I have had to wait was two hours and it was raining.

I have been on a wide variety of calls from an infant

stopped breathing to a dead on scene or dead on arrival.

Explorers go through CPR training and first responder certification and of course, all those training meetings.

The more I am around them the more they are like a

second family. They are like young mothers and fathers. I love to be around them.

When you need a friend to talk to they are always there. I am not shy or bashful anymore, and I have come out of my shell completely.

Our trucks that we have are cool. We have Rescue 85, Rescue 86, Rescue 87, Rescue 88 and Rescue 89.

Rescue 85, 87 and 89 respond mostly to wreck calls and are backup trucks for other calls.

Rescue 86 is the truck we use for almost all calls. The newest truck is Rescue 88, and it is our transporting truck. It will hopefully be going into service soon.

At an Explorer&8217;s first meeting, they are introduced to

everyone, fill out all the necessary paperwork and learn what equipment is on all the trucks.

At the second meeting, they learn how to take a blood pressure and find a pulse. Then throughout the next year, they learn more with just experience.

What does it feel like?

You will be just sitting there reading a book or watching TV and that tone goes off and it startles you. You race out to one of our two trucks and hop in, then roar down into the street with lights flashing and sirens wailing. It is the greatest

sound ever.

Another is when that helicopter comes roaring over. When you have to go all the way to the end of Highway 47 down to Lay Lake, it seems takes us about five to 10 minutes to get there and about 25 to 30 minutes to get back.

It feels great when you get back to the station and know that you just helped saved somebody else&8217;s life; a person that you didn&8217;t even know.

But it also can feel really weird and strange.

If you want to become an Explorer, call your local fire or rescue department for information. If you live in Columbiana, Shelby or Wilsonville you can become an Explorer with us. For more information about our unit, call Post 86 in Columbiana at 669-4866 or visit the website at www.sscrescue.com.

Explorer Jane McDaniel is a ninth grader at Shelby County High School