History of the Ridge Culver Fire Dept Explorer Post 286
The post was formed in June of 1966 with Don Deming, John Hall and Bob Metcalfe acting as the posts first advisors. The post was initially formed with 6 members and grew to 22 members by the end of 1967. The first election of officers was held soon after its formation. Tom Yokel, now an assistant chief of the Kodak Park Fire Department, was elected as the first President of the post. Jerry Prince was his vice president, Bill Johnson Jr. was the secretary.
The main focus of the post was to introduce young men and women to a career in firefighting. The advisors would instruct them on basic firefighting skills, such as hose operation , self-contained breathing apparatus operation and use, ladder training, automobile extrication and fire scene simulation. They would also learn how to organize and run their own post by electing officers, running fund-raisers and purchasing there own equipment to run there post. This would enable the members to learn how to work with others and develop leadership skills.
Over the years the post would work with other posts in the Monroe County area to cross train or to have firematic competition. In 1970 a firematic tournament team was formed from the post. Several tournaments were held that year with Ridge Culver Explorer Post competing. A series of five events, existing of timed equipment races, hose coupling and flowing water to knock down target and an old fashion bucket brigade, were held.
In 1971 the first National Explorer Presidents Convention was held in Washington DC. Each city in the United States sent a group of Explore Presidents from posts in their district to select a National President. Joe Campanella that year’s president of the Post 286 was selected as lead representative of the Monroe County District. This trip included an audience with President Richard Nixon on the White House Lawn for all the explorers attending the convention.
On April 2003, the Otetiana Council of the Boy Scouts of America will recognize Post 286 on it’s 35th Anniversary of the explorer post. The Ridge Culver Fire Department post has the distinction of being the oldest consecutively operating firematics post in the Otetiana Council. In the over thirty-five years more than 350 young people have become members. More than 120 have gone on to become Ridge Culver Volunteer Firefighters. In addition to this over 40 of our past explorers have gone on to make firefighting a career with the The Ridge Culver Fire department, City of Rochester Fire Department, Laurelton Fire Dept , St. Paul Blvd. Fire Dept, Brighton Fire Dept, Kodak Fire Dept, the Town of Irondequoit Fire Marshals Office and with the Armed Services of the United States of America.
We at the Ridge Culver Volunteer fire department are proud to be the sponsor to one of the strongest and resilient explorer posts in the history of the Monroe County Explorer district. We/ hope that the tradition of training the youth of the community to serve in the fire service will continue for years to come.