The Inland Empire Fire Explorer Association hosted the 21st Fire Explorer Academy at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin. The Academy started Nov. 14 and concluded with a graduation ceremony on Nov. 18.
This year, 160 explorers representing 27 departments from San Bernardino and Riverside counties participated in rigorous training on structural firefighting, flammable liquids and gases, and firefighter safety and survival. Throughout the academy, approximately 70 fire personnel and explorer advisors instructed our explorers on the three training elements.
The Inland Empire Fire Explorer Association is an organization created to teach the youth how to live with integrity, unity, and respect, as well as the fundamentals of what it takes to be a firefighter. The IEFEA’s motto is “Training Tomorrow’s Firefighters Today.”
During the stay at Fort Irwin, the explorers got an inside look at life in the military. They slept in Army barracks, ate in the dining facility, marched from point A to point B, and interacted with Soldiers. On Nov. 15 the public was invited to watch the Explorers participate in the flammable liquids and gases night-burn. A few explorers were able to interact with Soldiers and Families, explaining what Explorers do during the academy. Explorers in turn learned about what life is like on post for military Families.
The academy marked the 11th visit to Fort Irwin in the Academy’s 21-year history. The IEFEA had its first academy in 1992 with only 35 explorers at Victor Valley High School. Twenty-one years later, more than 3,700 explorers have been trained in all aspects of basic structural and wild land firefighting operations. Many Explorers who have passed through the IEFEA Fire Academy have gone on to become full-time firefighters. Many return as advisors to teach and use their story as a testament of success.
Thank you to the Fort Irwin Fire Department, The United States Army, and to all those here that made this possible. See you next year!