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Explorers win statewide competitions
CFD Explorers
The Camden Fire Department (CFD) Explorers team took first place, overall, in the Gear Donning Competition at the annual S.C. State Firefighters Association Conference in Myrtle Beach, which ended June 13. Members of the team and CFD leaders include (bottom, from left) CFD Chief John Bowers, Taylor Small, Shane Hook, Trey Brown, Hunter West, (top, from left) Price Peebles, Randy Rogers, advisor Abram Johnson, Bayleigh Eubanks, Gabby Catoe and Chrsti Catoe. - photo by Provided by John Bowers

Explorers from the Camden Fire Department (CFD) and Lugoff Fire-Rescue (LF-R) scored well in state competitions held during the S.C. State Firefighters Association (SCFA) Conference, June 8-13 in Myrtle Beach. The conference is a major training/education event hosted by the Firefighters Association each year, according to CFD Chief John Bowers, who serves as chairman of the SCFA’s supervisory committee.

“It’s our biggest event,” Bowers said. “About 5,000 firefighters attend.”

The explorers and junior firefighter organizations affiliated with the departments are encouraged to attend as well, he said. This year, some 14 Explorers post teams competed in several events, including gear donning and hose placement competitions, Bowers said.

The Camden Fire Department’s Explorers Team won first place overall in Gear Donning, an event in which participants race to put on a firefighter’s full bunker gear, including air packs. 

Camden Explorer Bailey Eubanks won first place, female division, Gear Donning, with a 42-second time. Randy Rogers won first place in the male division and first place overall in Gear Donning with a 37-second time. Price Peebles won second place in the male division, Gear Donning, with a 42-second time.

The Camden team also won third place in the Hose Deployment competition, Bowers said

“We’re very proud of them -- they did a great job,” he said.

L-FR Explorers also did very well in the competition, taking second place overall in the Gear Donning event, according to LF-R Chief Dennis Ray. In addition, LF-R Explorer Amber Terry took second place in the Gear Donning female division competition, he said.

Ray, whose department coordinated the competition events, said he was pleased with the efforts of all the competitors.

“We are honored to be asked again this year by the S.C. State Firefighter’s Association to coordinate this statewide competition for our firefighting Explorers and Junior Firefighters,” Ray, who serves as the SCFA’s Member Benefits Committee chairman, said. “Our staff worked very hard to make this event such a success and the turnout was tremendous. I am very proud of our winners and I congratulate all the Explorers and Junior Firefighters from all over South Carolina for performing so well at this year’s competition. We look forward to making this event even bigger next year at the state conference.”