BY JANAE JOACHIM
The Wadsworth Fire Department hosts the Explorer Program at Station 2 every year starting in September. Former firefighter Regina Kantorik and her husband teach from the Firefighter 1 curriculum and students do classwork to learn how to become a firefighter.
Anyone who has graduated eighth grade but is still in high school and is interested in becoming a firefighter can join.
“[I love] being able to get kids’ feet wet in the fire service so that they can figure out what they want to do for their career plan,” said Regina Kantorik, Senior Advisor of the program.
Kantorik and her husband run the program under the permission of Chief Lindner. They have been doing this for ten years.
The program extends as long as the school year and ends with a test. Passing the test gives the clearance to respond to fire training with the department on Wednesday nights in addition to going on the trucks in response to fire calls.
Students from the Four Cities Compact EMT program often find it useful to join this program as a supplement to the compact.
“It helps solidify the curriculum that they are learning from another voice,” Kantorik said.
The Explorer Program is helpful for students who are unsure if the EMT compact is what they want to do, as well.
Kantorik has had as many as 15 students in the program at a time, but was unable to provide it last year due to COVID-19.
Classes will be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m.