Exploring the Fire Service: Riverbend Fire Post Fundraiser Helps Youth Learn and Grow

By: Isabelle Flener 


The Riverbend Fire Explorers Post, run with local fire departments, is hosting a fundraiser to raise funds for the post. The Explorer program provides youth aged 14 to 20 with the opportunity to experience the fire service from a unique perspective. In the past, many Explorers from the post have gone on to become volunteer, paid-on-call, or career firefighters throughout the area. 

The fundraiser will take place on Thursday March 30, 2023, at Olga’s Kitchen in the Alton Mall. Customers who come in to eat can have 20% of their bill go to Explorers Post. Whatever is raised from the fundraiser will be used to help the explorers buy training equipment, gear, and more.  

Isaac Flener organized the event as captain of the Riverbend Fire Explorers. He has been with the explorers as a part of the Rosewood Heights Fire Department for 2 years. 

“My favorite part of being an explorer is learning how the fire industry works and the brotherhood that comes along with it,” said Flener. “We are trying to raise the next generation of a much-needed and called-upon industry.” 

The Riverbend Fire Explorers Post has participating departments in East Alton, Wood River, Rosewood Heights, and Bethalto.  

“If the surrounding community wants to donate to the explorers or the fire department and cannot attend the fundraiser, they can write a check made out to the Riverbend Fire Explorers and deliver it to the East Alton fire department,” said Flener  

The local fire departments usually have volunteer, paid-on-call, and career firefighters throughout their department. Zac Herrin is a Duty Man and has been with the Rosewood Heights Fire Department for about a year.  

“I really enjoy being on the fire department. One big reason is that I get to help people in many different ways, it could anything from a serious medical issue or simply giving someone directions,” said Herrin.  

“The most important part of being with a fire department is being a part of something greater than oneself,” said Herrin. “Being part of a great group of people to help the community is, in my opinion, the most valuable and best thing about being on a fire department,” said Herrin.  

For more information on the Explorer Program, contact Lieutenant Mortland (amortland@eastaltonvillage.org) at the East Alton Fire Department or contact one of the departments listed above directly.  

For more information about local fire departments, and job or volunteer opportunities please contact the department of your choice directly.

About Isabelle Flener

Isabelle is working towards her Associates of Arts degree, with plans to graduate in Fall 2024. After completing her arts degree, she intends to transfer to a university to pursue a degree in photojournalism.
View all posts by Isabelle Flener →

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