Explorers Program

About our Fire Explorers Program

The Apopka Fire Department is proud to be one of the few Fire Departments in Central Florida to have a program dedicated to our youth. The Explorer Program was created in 1983 to provide high school students with the experience of firefighting as a profession.

Inspiring the Youth

Our goal is to take students who have an interest in firefighting as a career and train them on all aspects of the job to hopefully join us as career firefighters. We currently have many full-time and volunteer firefighters who began their careers as Explorers.


The Explorer Program follows the Orange County Public School calendar. Meetings are every Tuesday night throughout the school year taking breaks during scheduled holidays. The meetings run from 7 to 9 PM and are held at the Leroy F. Gilliam Training Center located at: 321 E. Cleveland Street, Apopka, FL 32703.


During the meetings the Explorers train in all aspects of the job including:

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Confined Space Rescue
  • Deploying / Advancing Hose lines
  • Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)
  • Rappelling
  • Search and Rescue
  • Tower Operations
  • Vehicle Extrication

All Explorers will become certified in CPR.

Ride Along

Upon completion of their first year, the Explorer can participate in our ride-along program. This is when the Explorer gets to really see what the life of a firefighter is all about. The Explorer can spend a shift at the firehouse, from the hours of 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., and ride with our District Chiefs to actual Emergency calls.