Created in the spring of 1993, the position of Fire
Explorer within the Modesto Fire Department is a career
awareness vehicle. Young men and women in the community
who are interested in a future fire service career can
have the opportunity to
train and interact
in a fire-service environment as a tool to help discover
if this career is appropriate for them. Although this is
a non-volunteer, unpaid position within the department,
it is a terrific opportunity to get as "up-close and
personal" to the fire service as is possible without
taking the actual firefighter entry exam.
The Fire Explorer program consists of a minimum of
twice-monthly classroom activities held at the Regional
Fire Training Center, where instruction is offered by
Modesto Fire Department personnel in the various
subjects relating to department operations and functions
such as emergency breathing apparatus, first-aid,
hoselines, ladders, protective clothing, rescue and
other pertinent department subjects. The class schedule
is year-round and consists of various "hands-on"
operations. The department provides full protective
safety gear (turnouts) during these events.
After an initial "orientation period", during which
the selected explorer candidate is given basic
information on department operations, the process known
as 'station assignment' or 'ride-along' begins. This
consists of the fire explorer candidate being assigned
to a selected fire station every month for a
pre-determined time period wherein he/she works
alongside department personnel in non-emergency
activities such as station maintenance, hydrant
servicing, training, and public relations. The fire
explorer candidate can ride on the assigned apparatus to
emergency incidents, but must remain an observer only.
The fire explorer candidate is evaluated during each
station assignment by a company officer. Unsatisfactory
evaluations can lead to disciplinary actions such as
reduced station time or dismissal in extreme cases.
The Modesto Fire Explorer Post is very involved with
department public relations programs and projects. These
public interactions require a "duty uniform:, the
expense of which is the responsibility of the explorer
candidate. These uniform consists of designated steel
toe leather boots, navy blue pants, black leather belt,
navy blue shirt, navy blue dress shirt, black tie/tie
bar, and monogrammed navy blue jacket. A badge
identification is provided by the Post and participation
in fund raiser to help reduce expenses and purchase
needed materials is expected. As a sub-agency of the
fire department, each explorer candidate must realize
and be aware that their presence and actions as an
explorer reflect upon the image and reputation of the
Modesto Fire Department and inappropriate behavior
cannot and will not be tolerated.
here to see the training.
Back to the top
Attendance is mandatory for all classroom activities,
public events, station assignments and other actions
deemed appropriate by department personnel. A set amount
of class absences is permitted by program policy.
Absence beyond that amount allowed, results in
disciplinary measures such as reduction in station
assignment time or dismissal from the program in severe
Education is a key component in developing a
successful fire service career. Gaining additional
knowledge and training to better one's self cannot be
overemphasized or taken too lightly.
- Minimum age of 16 at the time of appointment.
Candidate must leave program by their 21st birthday.
- Minimum grade point average (G.P.A.)- All
Modesto Fire Explorer Post 911 members shall
maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 2.0 ("C' average) or
better at all times while engaged in the program.
- Grades will be reviewed by command staff at the
close of fall and spring semesters.
- If a Modesto Fire Explorer Post 911 member fails
to achieve the minimum G.P.A. as required, he/she
shall be prohibited from all station assignments
during the following semester. If grades return to
satisfactory status during the next semester,
station assignment status returns to normal If
below-minimum semester grades occur consecutively,
explorer shall immediately be considered for
- If a Modesto Fire Explorer member has graduated
from high school, but fails to enroll at an
institution of higher education. he/she shall
forfeit station assignment duty for that semester.
Two (2) consecutively missed semester shall cause
the explorer member to be immediately considered for
termination. Although not required, command staff
highly recommend Explorer members be enrolled in at
least one (1) fire-science related course each
- Height proportionate to weight
- Good health (in lieu of a physical agility test,
Explorer candidates must, prior to appointment,
submit proof of successful physical exam by
- No felony convictions
- Reside within Stanislaus County
- Financial ability to obtain the Post-required
uniform ($240 estimated)
A yearly registration fee, payable upon appointment
to the Post, provides liability insurance coverage
through the Boy Scouts of America. This is designed as a
back-up policy to an individual's private insurance.
This policy covers the the Explorer member while he/she
is engaged in Department authorized events.
Back to the top
In an effort to make this program a springboard to
the actual firefighter entry test, the Explorer
application process is designed to mirror the same
requirements. The procedure consists of written
application, written exam, oral interview, background
check, and successful physical exam (if appointed).
- Written Application - Incomplete, unsigned, or
illegible information on the written application
shall be considered failure of the application
- Written Exam - A comprehensive written exam
shall be given. Subjects that may be covered include
math, reading comprehension, mechanical aptitude and
- Oral Interview - Candidates who are successful
in the written exam will be invited to an oral board
presentation. The oral interview constitutes the
majority of the overall grade given.
- Background Check - Employees/representatives of
the Modesto Fire Department must be above reproach
or question of trust. Therefore, a background check
may be considered for applicants who are successful
in both the written exam and oral interview.
- Physical Exam - Prior to appointment, the
explorer candidate must secure a signed document
from his/her physician stating that said
individual's health status would not prohibit
him/her from engaging in strenuous, extended
For more information, email
Back to the top