The Explorer Program of the Northville Fire Department is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Northville Fire Department has hosted an in-house youth Explorer Program for 27 years, providing a safe environment for boys and girls ages 14-20 to learn basic skills and training that help them launch careers in the fire and Emergency Medical Service. Explorer Post 1717 is funded almost entirely by private donations and fundraising events and effort which usually take place all year in an effort to pay for the program safety gear and equipment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fire officials said, the 2020 fundraising effort ground to a halt, and Post 1717 turned to a different way to raise funds. A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been established and the firefighters are seeking donations for the purchase of new firefighting safety gear and equipment for the program. Any amount is appreciated, they stressed.
Matt Zmuda, an area firefighter and volunteer advisor to the Explorers, noted that the program has been utilizing secondhand and out-of-date protective 'turn out' gear donated by various fire departments for many years. All protective equipment has a limited time it can be used safely and effectively.
“New gear will allow us to conduct activities and training for the Explorers in a safer manner. With help from the community, we can continue to train the next generation of firefighters and emergency medical technicians,” he said.
For more information, visit the Post 1717 Facebook page, the city website, or call (248) 449-9902.