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News Releases2018-03-04T00:12:38+00:00

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Press Release: January 6, 2017


Five Mason County Public Safety Explorers attended the Washington Law Enforcement Explorers Academy (WLEEA,) in Yakima over the recent holiday season. Mason County Sheriff’s Office and Mason County Fire District #4 jointly operate the states only multi-discipline explorer post. Explorer Advisors Detective Danielle Rickards and Fire Chief Bob Burbridge are preparing for the fourth year of the program.

WLEEA under the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC,) holds two explorer academies per year. Both Summer and Winter academies are held at Joint Base Lewis McChord’s Yakima Training Center. 209 explorers from around the state attended the academy in single digit temperatures. The Academy is a full-time training environment that mirrors the atmosphere at the real law enforcement Academy. Advisors and Instructors from all around Washington State come together to provide top-notch instruction and training. During the week of training, Explorers experience aspects of police work firsthand. Classroom time and practical application of skills are combined to provide a challenging and fun week.

There are five ways to participate in the Police Explorer Academy.

Basic Academy (for first-time Explorers) This academy covers many of the basic building blocks of law enforcement. Topics may include but are not limited to: ethics, building searches, traffic control, radio communication, traffic stops, criminal law, court procedures, basic interviewing, crime scene investigation, collision investigation, report writing, domestic violence, use of force, firearms safety, firing range, physical agility test, and mock scenes.

Advanced Academy (for Explorers that have successfully completed the Basic Academy) There are three tracks to the advanced academy: Advanced Investigations, Advanced Narcotics Investigation, and Leadership.

E.A.A. – Explorer Advisor Assistant (after several academies the Explorer helps out with the administration of the Academy) As an E.A.A. Explorers have an opportunity to work behind the scenes. There are many roles for the E.A.A.’s from role players, to kitchen duty, to acting as the direct assistant to the Academy Leadership. This opportunity allows the explorer to show their experience, work ethic, and serve the junior explorers as they learn about police work. This position requires maturity and drive.

Selection Academy Always in the Summer Academy (The mission is to prepare senior explorers for the hiring process.) The acceptance requirements for Selection Academy are the same as for APD. There’s training on the written test, oral boards, resume preparation, social media pitfalls, preparing for interviews, polygraphs, PT Test etc.

A.P.D. – Academy Police Department– Always Winter Academy (This is what it’s all about!) Explorers apply to the Academy Police Department like a real job. If accepted, they get to work patrol shifts on the Academy campus for the week, doing tons of mock scenes. A.P.D. is treated like an actual Police Department in every way.

Additional training includes local fire explorer academy training. Explorers are presented with fire and emergency medical service training, suppression tactics, breathing apparatus, ladders, and hose handling. Following training the explorers are eligible to ride along with public safety personnel and function in real life situations.

The explorer post is open to interested teenagers age 16 to 20. Applications can be found at the Sherriff’s Office or at Mason County Fire District #4 main station on Arcadia Rd. Explorer meetings are held twice a month. We have a tough application process including background checks, interviews, and a monitoring program of integrity, and excellence in education.

Explorers Academy 2015

April 2015

Explorers final day 2015

Today is the final day of the Mason County Explorers Fire Academy. Cadets with the Explorers program have spent all week at Fire District #4 learning the skills needed for them to become firefighters and EMS professionals.

Shelton Resident Graduates from FEMA’s EMI

burbridge gradChief Bob Burbridge, Mason Fire District #4, graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Emergency Management Basic Academy at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) on September 18, 2014. EMI has created the National Emergency Basic Academy to produce a comprehensive curriculum that provides the foundational knowledge and skills needed to support the unpredictable challenges in the field of emergency management. Additionally, for those who are new to emergency management or for those who are transferring from another profession, this Academy provides a unique opportunity to build camaraderie and establish professional contacts.

Burbridge completed the five courses in the Basic Academy that includes Foundations of Emergency Management; Science of Disaster; Planning: Emergency Operations; Exercise Design; and Public Information and Warning. To graduate, he fulfilled a total of 167 hours of training.

The Basic Academy is the first phase of FEMA’s new Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP). The EMPP curriculum is designed to be a lifetime of learning for emergency managers and includes three separate, but closely related, training programs. The National Emergency Management Basic Academy is a gateway for individuals pursuing a career in emergency management. The National Emergency Management Leaders Academy is designed for emerging leaders and mid-level managers who lead emergency management programs and want to advance their skillset. The Executive Academy is designed for senior-level executives who are responsible for making decisions that have a significant effect on prevention, protection and mitigation policy or the management of disaster response and recovery. For more information on FEMA’s training classes through the Basic, Leaders and Executive Academies, or other emergency management courses, go to:

Emmitsburg, MD (FEMA Press Release) – October 23, 2014

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

IMAGE/Emmitsburg, MD, September 18, 2014–FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) graduate Bob Burbridge completed all requirements of the National Emergency Management Basic Academy.  Matthew Prager, Acting Integrated Emergency Management Branch Chief, is shown congratulating Burbridge as he graduates.