ST. CLOUD -- Teens and young adults who are interested in firefighting for a career can get a jumpstart on their dream starting Tuesday night.

The St. Cloud Fire Department pairs up with the Boy Scouts of America to bring their Explorer program together every year. The program is devoted to showing teens and young adults between the ages of 14-20 a behind-the-scenes look at firefighting. Most of the activities are hands-on.

Andy Rasmussen is a Firefighter and the Lead Advisor for the Explorer Program. He says the program looks deep into what they do as a department.

"We go through how [fighting] a  fire works, reading smoke. We even get to put out some small spot-fires with extinguishers, we just go through our training, and what we do on a daily basis."

After the meeting Tuesday, the program runs until June. Rasmussen says the days can vary, based on when the people involved in the program can attend. He adds, at the end of the year, programs across Minnesota come together to compete at the state fair.

"At the end of the year, we end up doing a competition down at the state fair. Where other explorer programs and the St. Cloud Fire program go head to head."

The program does have a couple requirements outside of the age range. You'll have to have completed the eighth grade, and have at least a 2.0 GPA.

The explorer program starts Tuesday with an informational meeting at Fire Station 2, 727 Anderson Avenue at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $65, that covers registration, insurance, a t-shirt and other safety items.

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