LA VERGNE, Tenn (WTVF) — From the classroom, to the firehouse; they're becoming the next generation of heroes. A group of Rutherford County teens are getting hands-on experience as firefighters.
“We were doing some training and that's when I kind of realized that this is something that I wanted to do for a living,” said Emmanuel Tucker.
Tucker might look a little young to carry the title of a captain, but the La Vergne High school Junior is one of a handful of teens participating in the firefighter's explore program.
“Being in the fire department or being in the explorer's program it allows me to be like figure out who I am,” Tucker said.
The program is a first for the La Vergne fire department. It's sponsored by the Scouts of America for 14 through 18-year-old students.
And so far, it has provided these kids a glimpse inside of their futures.
“I still don't exactly know what I want to do when I grow up, but I do know I want to help people,” said Ashleigh Rumsey.
It's more than just textbook learning for these explorers, it's hands on learning as well; taking them inside of real-life experiences.
So, these junior firefighters are suiting up in real gear to get a taste of real life. In this simulation the teens break off in groups in a smoked filled room -- that's just water vapor with a mission to a save a life.
“I get to help people to, that's the great part about it you're helping other people,” said Tucker.
The Fire Department covers the cost of membership for all program participants. Parents or the students purchase the uniform through the department.
Explorers meet every other Monday at Fire Station 3. The fire department should welcome its next class in April.