Cherokee County Fire
& Emergency Services

Young Lady from Austria Participates in Cherokee Fire Explorer Academy

July 27, 2018

Cherokee County Fire Explorer Post #469 hosted its 4th Annual Cherokee Fire Explorer Academy this week at the Fire Training Center, located just south of Holly Springs.

Each year the explorers come out for a week full of training that includes firefighting techniques, EMS, hazardous materials response, vehicle extrication, physical fitness, drill & ceremonial exercises, and much more!

This year there were 15 members from the post participating in the event. One of the participants is a young lady from Austria. Katharina Tolstiuk, a 16 year old girl from Natschbach, Austria, which is in the northeastern most state of the nine states in Austria. Katharina is an exchange student who came to Cherokee County this past Saturday. She has been a member of her fire department in Austria since the age of 10. “My host family knew that I was a firefighter in Austria and they were looking for fire departments here so I could see the difference between America and Austria,” stated Katharina. Katharina is from a family of firefighters. “My grandfather helped start the fire department in my hometown and my father and brother are firefighters, too,” she added. Katharina has found huge differences in the two fire departments. “The people are very nice here and everyone was very friendly,” she stated. The young firefighter will be attending Sequoyah High School this year and will return to Austria in June or July of next year.

Participating in this year’s Fire Explorer Academy were: Denver Ice, Chris Shorts, William Logan, Hannah Pohlman, Anna Bowyer, Dalton Hamby, Griffin Hansen, Jared MacCracken, Gabriel Shull, Gene Kachele, Brianne Mazzuca, Jason Kuhn, Katharina Tolstiuk, Timothy Waddell, and Andrew Doty,

The Fire Explorer Academy is made possible by the use of the Cherokee County Fire Training Center and the support of the department’s career and volunteer Explorer Advisors who create and teach the curriculum of the course

The explorer program is a career based leaning opportunity and is open to young men and women ages 14 (and completed the 8th grade) and not yet 21 years old with an interest in learning more about careers in the field of fire & emergency services.

Fire and emergency services exploring is a hands-on program that exposes participants to many career experiences, leadership opportunities, and community service activities. The primary goals of the program are to help young adults choose a career path within fire and emergency services and to challenge them to become responsible citizens of their communities and country. For more information about Explorer Post 469 you can contact Sgt. Michael Sims at 678-644-1377 or mrsims@cherokeega.com.

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Katharina Tolstiuck (center) from Austria stands with her new friends who are Cherokee County Fire Explorers.
Katharina Tolstiuck (center) from Austria stands with her new friends who are Cherokee County Fire Explorers. (click image for slideshow)
Cherokee County firefighter, Natan Roper (right), instructs an explorer on how to do a force entry.
Cherokee County firefighter, Natan Roper (right), instructs an explorer on how to do a force entry.
A Cherokee County Fire Explorer begins to enter an area filled with smoke.
A Cherokee County Fire Explorer begins to enter an area filled with smoke.
Katharina Tolstiuk of Austria carries a hose up a flight stairs.
Katharina Tolstiuk of Austria carries a hose up a flight stairs.
Cherokee County Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, speaks to the recruits about ceremonial drill and marching exercises.
Cherokee County Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, speaks to the recruits about ceremonial drill and marching exercises.
Fire Explorers take a hose up several flights of stairs.
Fire Explorers take a hose up several flights of stairs.