Cherokee County Fire
& Emergency Services

Cherokee County Fire Explorers Bring Home 10 Awards from Winterfest

February 11, 2019

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services’ Explorer Post 469 brought home ten awards during the 45th Annual Winterfest Competition that was held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The competition took place this past weekend at The Gatlinburg Convention Center with over 3,100 Explorers and Venturers from 26 states attending the event this year.

Winterfest is the largest gathering in the United States catering to Explorers and  Venturers and it takes place annually in Gatlinburg, TN. The event is the largest scout assembly that specifically targets co-ed youth ages 14-21, and allows them to participate in a variety of competitive and social activities throughout the weekend.

This was the 18th year that the fire department’s explorers have attended the event. Post 469 brought 20 youth and 13 advisors to this event. Also in attendance from the department were Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, and Retired Fire Chief, Bob Nealy. Many friends and family members of Post 469 were also in attendance.

The post went up against some tough competition to bring home 10 Top-Three finishes! They placed first in Cardiac Arrest Management, Denver Drill, Medical Emergency Management, Pittsburg Drill and Trauma Emergency Management.

Second place trophies were earned in Medical Emergency Management and Trauma Emergency Management.

Plus, the local fire explorers earned 3rd place in Honor Guard Competition, Rapid Dress Individual and Table Top Display Contest.

The events involved the explorers performing forcible entry, hose deployment, hose crawl, victim removal, emergency medical treatment, and much more.

The explorers began training for this year’s Winterfest back in the Fall of 2018. They averaged 7-10 hours of training per week and were mentored by career and volunteer firefighters who volunteer as advisors and associate advisors.

According to Tim Prather, Cherokee County Fire Chief, “We have a great group of young people who have worked hard for this year’s competition.  Many of our current firefighters in Cherokee County were once members of our explorer program.”

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.

go back

Cherokee County Fire Explorers who attended Winterfest are (Front Row L to R): Cadet FF Maxwell Garcia, Cadet Captain Denver Ice, Cadet Lt. Chris Shorts, Cadet Sgt. Dalton Hamby, Cadet Lt. William Logan, Cadet FF Isaiah Powell, Cadet FF Katharina Tolstiuk, Cadet FF Griffin Hansen, Cadet FF Gabriel Shull, Cadet FF Kenny Robinson, Cadet FF Gene Kachele. Back row: Cadet Sgt. Josh Shorts, Cadet FF Jared MacCracken, Cadet FF McKinley Arnold, Cadet FF Brianne Mazucca, Cadet Sgt. Anna Bowyer, Cadet Sgt. Hannah Pohlman, Cadet FF Timothy Waddell, Cadet FF Tyler Nealy, and Cadet FF Jason Kuhn.
Cherokee County Fire Explorers who attended Winterfest are (Front Row L to R): Cadet FF Maxwell Garcia, Cadet Captain Denver Ice, Cadet Lt. Chris Shorts, Cadet Sgt. Dalton Hamby, Cadet Lt. William Logan, Cadet FF Isaiah Powell, Cadet FF Katharina Tolstiuk, Cadet FF Griffin Hansen, Cadet FF Gabriel Shull, Cadet FF Kenny Robinson, Cadet FF Gene Kachele. Back row: Cadet Sgt. Josh Shorts, Cadet FF Jared MacCracken, Cadet FF McKinley Arnold, Cadet FF Brianne Mazucca, Cadet Sgt. Anna Bowyer, Cadet Sgt. Hannah Pohlman, Cadet FF Timothy Waddell, Cadet FF Tyler Nealy, and Cadet FF Jason Kuhn. (click image for slideshow)
Cherokee County Fire Explorers wait patiently for their next event.
Cherokee County Fire Explorers wait patiently for their next event.
Thousands of explorers attended the event at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
Thousands of explorers attended the event at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
Teamwork is vital for a successful Explorer program.
Teamwork is vital for a successful Explorer program.
The Cherokee County Fire Explorer Honor Guard receive last minute instruction prior to the honor guard competition.
The Cherokee County Fire Explorer Honor Guard receive last minute instruction prior to the honor guard competition.
Winterfest was held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
Winterfest was held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.