FRUITLAND, MO (KFVS) - If you were in the Fruitland, Missouri area on Thursday and saw a car fire, don't worry, it was a training exercise for up-and-coming firefighters.
Firefighters we spoke with say statistics show about 80 percent of firefighters are volunteers. The explorer program is a way to train the firefighters of tomorrow, whether that be volunteer or for career.
We caught up with a group of students ranging in age from 14 to 18 in Fruitland on Thursday. They went through a car fire simulation. Organizers say it's extremely important to teach these youngsters the fundamentals because they will be the ones showing up when you need them.
"It's not what I want to do when I get older, but it's something I would definitely enjoy volunteering for and being there to help whenever needed," Johna Martin, explorer, said.
"If it wasn't for people we've got behind me here to do this stuff, there wouldn't be a fire department," said Travis Sheppard from the Fruitland Fire Department. "There wouldn't be houses to save. There wouldn't be rescues made. This country relies heavily on volunteers."
After the training was over, they put our reporter, Todd Tumminia, to the test. He strapped a camera to his head and you can see he's got a way to go before he's on par with these explorers.