Midland firefighter creating new explorer program to inspire local youth

Midland firefighter creating new explorer program to inspire local youth

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Midland Fire Department hopes to get more young people interested in joining them. They will launch an explorer program that lets youth shadow firefighters and EMTs, along with providing mentorships. It's still in the early stages, but its meant to prepare for another oil boom.

Jamal George's passion was ignited at young age.

"You're helping people on a daily basis," he said.

George served in the military and has worked on various fire departments across the country.

"I was one of those kids that wanted to become a firefighter, but I had no idea how to do it. This program kind of changed my life," said George.

He wanted to see what being a firefighter really meant, before starting his training.

"It gives kids an idea of what they want to become. It gives them a head start," said George.

At the age of 15, George got involved in a Fire and EMS exploring program in California. He got to shadowing firefighters, go to medical calls and have his own mentor helping him through all the way.

"You have a kid who's 15 that already knows the ropes and he's going to be squared away when he gets in that position," said George.

Although he's only served the Midland community for the past year, George saw the need for the program locally.

"In the past, we have struggled getting new recruits," said George.

That typically happens when there is an oil boom. The program is just in the early stage of development, but it will be geared toward young adults ages 15 to 20.

The department is currently fully staffed, but the program will spark interest in youth ahead of time to prepare for any struggles in the future.

"It's probably the best program out there for kids to get that kind of good experience, learn discipline, life experience and learn how to communicate with people and help people as well," said George.

The program will likely launch in the summer of 2018, but the department wants to hear from you, if you are interested. Call the Central Fire station at (432)-685-7332.

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