Helena Fire Explorers place first in wildcard event at recent competition

Published 11:35 am Friday, September 18, 2015

The Helena Fire Explorers placed first in a wildcard event at a recent competition held at the Helena Sports Complex. (Contributed)

The Helena Fire Explorers placed first in a wildcard event at a recent competition held at the Helena Sports Complex. (Contributed)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena Fire Explorer program hosted their first ever competition on Saturday, Sept. 12, against 10 different fire departments, which in total broke down to 26 total teams.

The teams competed in a variety of competitions that included a bunker gear relay, water brigade, obstacle course, search and rescue, last resort drill and a wild card event.

The competition motivated explorers to demonstrate firefighter knowledge and performance of the profession and teams had to perform some tasks just as if it was a real-life firefighting situation.

Helena Fire Department Lt. and advisor for the Fire Explorers Heath Bartlett said that the competition went very smoothly and a variety of competitions and drills took place.

“The Helena Fire Explorers received first place in our wildcard competition,” said Bartlett. “The team had to put together an advanced hose line and then hit a target with a stream of water. The teams who finish each drill with the best time win the event.”

Bartlett also said that another competition included a barrel drill where teams had to complete the drill while being blindfolded.

The 10 different fire departments gathered at the Helena Sports Complex and included departments from around the Southeast that included two departments from Georgia, various departments from the Birmingham area and a department from Fairhope.

Bartlett has been an advisor with the Helena Fire Explorers for six or seven years and he talked about the advantages teens and young adults will gather from participating in the program.

“Some of the advantages they learn are teamwork, communication skills and dealing with problems,” said Bartlett. “They learn how to overcome adversity and become good citizens. They’re always out helping the community also.”

The Helena Fire Explorers is an organization designed for teenager’s ages 14-20 that are interested in pursing a career in fire service

The explorers have competed in competitions in the past and won various awards including a recent competition in Coweta County, Ga. where they received first place honors for the bucket brigade, Pittsburgh drill and the obstacle course competitions.

Those wanting more information about the Helena Fire Explorer’s can contact Bartlett at 663-5809 ext. 7.