13 Fire Explorers graduate

Costa Mesa officials announced Tuesday that 13 young men and women recently graduated from the Fire Explorers Post 400 program.

The Class of 2014, ages 16 to 21, met on seven consecutive Saturdays beginning in January. The program, part of the Boy Scouts of America, aims to teach firefighter skills, such as basic medical aid, hose and hydrant operations, throwing and climbing ladders, fire station etiquette, and use of breathing apparatus and hand and power tools, according to a city news release.

The graduates are Emmanuel "Franky" Bello, Evan Bruski, Justin Day, Luke Fragale, Santiago Herrera, Cody LaTendresse, Thai Lawrence, Thien Nguyen, Jack Reilly, Jordan Robinson, Jonathan Rosales, Rey Soria and Juan Tapia.

"There are a number of impressive explorer programs available throughout California," city Fire Chief Dan Stefano said in a prepared statement. "But there is no question that the Costa Mesa explorer program offers the highest quality of instruction, leadership and mentoring."

"All of the instructors are firefighters who were previously explorers at one time or another," program overseer Capt. Rob Gagne said in a prepared statement. "Having been in their shoes, we knew what it would take to motivate them and keep their interest to where they would want to succeed."

Applications for the 2015 class will be accepted this fall. The program costs $25 to join and about $250 for uniforms and books.

Interested applicants can email Gagne at rob.gagne@costamesaca.gov or visit http://www.cmfd.com.


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