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L-FR Explorers win big at ‘Fire Escape’
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Members of the Lugoff Fire-Rescue Explorers and their advisors show off their first- and second-place trophies and medallions earned during the S.C. Fire Academy’s “Fire Escape” competition held April 6 in Columbia. Due to being two members down, the LF-R combined forces with Howe Springs of Florence County. (See the April 19, 2019, print edition for a complete list of the people in this picture.)

The Lugoff Fire-Rescue (LF-R) Explorer Post won first- and second-place awards during the S.C. Fire Academy’s “Fire Escape” competition in Columbia on April 6. The competition included Explorers donning fire gear in male, female and team events, and a hose deployment exercise.

“Two of our Explorers were not able to participate, so our advisors reached out to Howe Springs Fire Department Explorer Post, Florence County, who partnered with us to form two teams,” LF-R Capt. Chris Jones, who serves as Explorer advisor, said in a press release.

Explorer John Terry III took first place in male gear donning. He also helped teammates Will Parker, Alvin Branham and John Reid take first place in team gear donning and teammates Britain Tate, Waylen Rhodes and Braden Wages take first place in hose deployment.

Another team made up of Kyle Cross, John Reid, Will Parker (all from Lugoff) and Brooks Benton of Howe Springs took second place in the hose deployment event.

Led by advisors Dalton Robinson, Scott Vassar, Alice Downey, Talley Truesdale and Chris Jones, the Lugoff Explorers had a rigorous training schedule. Explorers and advisors trained up to three times weekly to prepare for these two competitions.

Additionally, the LF-R Explorers train each month with career and volunteer staff of the department learning the key components of the firefighting profession to be prepared for a paid or volunteer firefighting career at age 18. Youth are taught the department’s four core values of pride, honor, integrity and professionalism while learning the firefighting profession locally, hands-on with certified firefighters. Youth from the age of 14 to 17 interested in joining the firefighting Explorer Post are encouraged to stop by Lugoff Fire-Rescue on U.S. 1 in Lugoff for more information or an application to join the team.