Recognizing the need to introduce career options in EMS and to support our local youth, Acadian Ambulance began sponsoring Explorer Posts for many years. As our ambulance service grew, we expanded the program to incorporate more local posts in the communities we serve. We currently sponsor and support thirteen posts in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The Boy Scouts of America started the Explorers program in 1935. Membership in Explorer Posts is open to young men and women currently enrolled in high school. Exploring exists to teach important life and career skills to young people from all backgrounds through immersive career experiences. Acadian Ambulance provides people and organizational resources to introduce our members to the EMS career field. The result is a program of interactive activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, and develop.
Our program allows high school students to learn in a hands-on environment what a career as an EMT or paramedic is like. The Post Advisors are current Acadian EMTs and Paramedics who have a passion for teaching and sharing what they love to do. Students attend monthly meetings, volunteer at fairs and festivals, and build relationships with EMS professionals. OurAs an Explorer, a high school student is given the opportunity to decide if the emergency medical field is a good fit before pursuing higher education.
Currently, we are working to launch an Explorers Post in all of our areas of operation by January of 2020. Once we hit that goal, Acadian will have 15 posts working with high school students throughout Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee.
Additionally, Acadian plans to sponsor EMT tuition for 50 future EMTs over the next year, and we are hoping that many of those spots are filled by our current Explorers.
Our long term goal for Explorers is to create a pipeline of students who are ready to enter the EMS field after high school. We want to help Explorers as they navigate Acadian’s career path, and continue to support our students after high school.
Planning & Implementation
Until recently, the Post’s activities and educational programs varied were dependent upon the local Advisor(s). At the beginning of 2019, Acadian decided to reenergize our high school outreach efforts. Initially, a committee was formed to create a job description for a full-time employee that would focus primarily on high school marketing and programs.
In May, Acadian appointed Lauren Anzelone as High School Outreach Coordinator. Lauren was serving as a recruiting in our Human Resources department, so she had a good feel for the wants and needs of people considering EMS as a career. We worked to standardize the Post’s training schedule so that all of the Explorers would receive a meaningful EMS familiarization and education program. The Explorers use those skills at community events, fairs and festivals throughout our service area. Under the supervision of the Advisors, the Explorers offer first aid and other minor services to patrons. Because we provide them special uniforms, they are easily identifiable and help to foster a positive image for Acadian. Paramedics or EMTs who would be over their area’s Explorer Post. Lauren has also conducted training for Advisors and other High School Outreach volunteers on how to appropriately deal with the young adults, following the Scout’s strict rules and protocols for adult-youth interaction.
The Posts typically meet monthly. The meetings are comprised of an (EMS) educational component as well as a team-building or similar component.
In addition to the phenomenal public exposure and goodwill the program creates for Acadian, we are greatly expanding the impact of the program by introducing Posts throughout our service area. Also, by standardizing the training and education curriculum and schedule, we are giving the participants a much more professional and thorough insight into the rewarding career of EMS.
We have anecdotal results of many current Acadian EMTs and paramedics that were members of our Explorer Posts, but we are not tracking the number of Explorers who eventually earn accreditation and become Acadian medics.
In just the past two years, we have had 14 Explorers go through EMT school and work for Acadian. Those 14 students came from just 3 posts, and we are hoping to see more students apply as our Explorers posts grow from 3 to 15
The Posts generally operate their own fundraisers as part of their Scout and learning process, but Acadian provides uniforms, equipment, supplies and logistical support of the program. Typical costs run between $1,500 and $2,000 per Post
Files: 0819 Explorer InfoSession Flyer.pdf, 0919 CarouselTile ExplorerTX OpenHouse.jpg, 0919 ExplorerTX OpenHouse Flyer.pdf, AMB0317 Explorer Brochure Trifold outlines.pdf, Acadian Explorers.mp4, Explorers getting ready for duty at Mardi Gras.jpg, Lift Training.jpg