Huntington Beach Search and Rescue Explorer Post # 563 is chartered by the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life Program and sponsored by the Huntington Beach Police and Fire Departments. It is a co-ed youth program designed to expose high school age men and women to careers in the emergency services field. It is open to ages 15 to 18 for new members, with a maximum age of 19 for participation.
Explorer Post # 563 was founded in 1962 as a Law Enforcement Explorer Post. Over the years it has developed into one of the premier Explorer Posts in Orange County. In 1982 the post took on a new challenge by expanding its focus to include firefighting exploring and becoming part of the Search and Rescue Explorer Program.
Based on training provided by volunteer Police and Fire Department personnel, Explorers gain knowledge and experience in disciplines such as fire suppression, firearms safety, high angle rope rescue, traffic and crowd control, first aid and CPR, technical rescue, and many other courses related to emergency services. Explorers also are given the opportunity to attend bi-annual Law Enforcement Explorer Academies, the State Firefighting Explorer Academy, and many other technical training courses.
Due to their extensive training and experience, the members of Huntington Beach Search and Rescue are available 24 hours a day for emergencies, disasters, and any other urgent needs of the Police and Fire Department. The post also supports many civic activities, such as the Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks show and the Surf City Marathon. They have been used for “fire watch” after large scale fires, and have assisted the Police Department with the search for evidence at major crime scenes. The unit also assists with DUI checkpoints, security assignments, Oak View Pride Day, Police Department Open House, Public Works Department Open House, and many other city events. Members of the Explorer Post are able to go on ride-alongs with both the Police and Fire Departments.
Serious work is not the only function of Search and Rescue. Explorer Post #563 always leaves time for fun, friendship, and laughter. Campouts, picnics, BBQ’s, and fieldtrips are an important part of the program. Building strong and healthy peer relationships is a vital component for keeping “good kids” good.
The City of Huntington Beach Search and Rescue Post # 563 meets every Thursday evening at the Huntington Beach Fire Department/Police Heliport (18381 Gothard Street). Meetings start at 6 p.m. with a business meeting and inspection followed by training.
For more information, please leave a message on the Search and Rescue Office voicemail at (714) 536-5485. You can view their website at: www.hbsar.org
The Huntington Beach Fire Department conducts free home fire safety inspections for seniors. You can also get a free smoke detector with a 10 year battery and carbon monoxide detector installed. This free service is provided by Project SHIP senior home inspection program volunteers. You can schedule an appointment online or call 714-374-1615.