Explorers gain life experiences
Blooming Prairie Police Officer Dan Peach, 22, was not even born when the Emergency Services Explorer Post 007 was founded in 1988.
Now, Peach, who himself was an Explorer at age 15, is an advisor to the group with founder Rick Ellingson. Peach and Ellingson are both part-time officers in Blooming Prairie and in Janesville. Peach can also be found working at B to Z Hardware in Blooming Prairie. Ellingson is a full-time paramedic for the Gold Cross Ambulance Service.
Explorers are between ages 14-20 and they typically join the program to find a career path, says Peach.
Members of Post 007 are from Owatonna, Blooming Prairie, Ellendale, Medford, Waterville and Janesville. They represent Steele, Rice, Waseca and LeSueur counties.
Peach and Ellingson say the Explorers purpose is to teach and show youths what is out there for emergency services career opportunities.
Some of these opportunities include these careers: police work, paramedic/EMT, firefighter, military and dispatcher.
“It’s cool to mentor the young kids and by working with them, we can show them a life experience,” Peach said.
A life experience was gained by the Explorers in mid-January when they motored to Chandler, Arizona to participate in SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) competition. More than 100 teams participated.
Part-time BP officer Shane St. John also attended with the Explorers group.
The group brought home a couple of trophies, competing in these categories: active shooter in workplace setting; water borne operations; officer down rescue; high risk search warrants; tactical EMS; bomb disarming and hostage rescue.
Real scenarios were presented to the Explorers. Peach said his group faced the Orlando shooting events and also an ISIS situation.
“This trip was not a vacation, it was an eye opening experience,” Peach said.
The Explorers did have the opportunity, however, to visit Las Vegas and see Los Angeles.
The Explorers enabled Peach to visit New York, Boston, Florida and Colorado during the time he was deciding what career to follow.
This summer, the 007 Post will trek to Alaska on a 16-day venture. The group plans to visit the Alaska State Patrol and hopes to meet with Canadian police, fire and ambulance personnel. “We hope to get some fishing and sight seeing done, too,” Peach said.
Funds for these trips are gained through lots of fundraising, Peach and Ellingson said. Explorers do security during the day at the Steele County Fair and clean up the grounds at night for a stipend.
To learn more about the Explorer Post 007, go to its Facebook page at Tactical Emergency Services Explorer Post 007.