From left, Matt Wasierski, 15, a sophomore at West Seneca East High School; Steve Amoia Jr., 17, a senior at West Seneca West Senior High School; and Tyler Kluck, 15, a sophomore at West Seneca West. The photographer is Jake Hall, 16, a junior at West Seneca West. All four of the students are in the Explorer Program hosted by the Vigilant Fire Department, District No. 6, in West Seneca. The hands-on learning program is for students ages 14 to 18. The program instructs the students in the same way it teaches adult volunteer firefighters, except the students don’t usually go on fire calls.
“We do some cool drills like auto extraction drills, how to hook up a hydrant, doing search and rescue drills, water rescue drills and EMS drills,” Tyler said in an email. “It’s cool because we get in full action besides actual fires and we get a set of our own equipment and get to ride and use all trucks. Basically we do everything a normal firefighter has to do besides a real fire. So they put us to work.”
The photo was taken at Celebrate America Night last month at Southgate Plaza on Union Road in West Seneca. The Explorers were on the plaza roof helping to make sure there were no falling embers from the fireworks.

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