Explorers teach life-saving lessons

A member of the Pelham Fire Department's Explorer program teaches Webelos Scouts how to perform the Heimlich maneuver at Oak Mountain State Park on July 18. (Reporter Photo/ Kreable Young)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A group of Webelos Cub Scouts ended their day at Oak Mountain State Park on July 18 by learning how to possibly save a loved one’s life.

Members of the Pelham Fire Department’s Explorer program spent time at the state park’s pavilion helping the scouts earn their Readyman badges, which is earned by preparing to deal with a potentially life-threatening situation.

The fire department’s Explorer program is composed of students younger than 21 who are interested in pursuing careers in firefighting, said Pelham firefighter Billy Earnest.

During the visit, the Explorers split the Scouts into several groups and taught them lessons on treating injuries such as snake and insect bites, putting together a first aid kit, recognizing and treating shock victims and more.

“It’s important to be prepared, because you might be the first responder,” Earnest told a group of Scouts. “It may be your mom or dad that you save.”

Earnest said the visit benefited both the Scouts and the Explorers, as the Explorers got a chance to put into practice lessons they have been learning over the past several months. “The Explorer program is like Scouting with a career focus,” Earnest told the Scouts, noting the Explorer group recently returned from a competition with several trophies.

Earnest said the department focuses on teaching the Explorers both firefighting and emergency medical technician skills, as “about 90 percent” of the department’s calls are medical related.