With lights flashing and sirens blaring, the members of the Effingham County Explorers post poured out of the patrol deputies’ cars and went right to work on the accident scene.
It was all part of the regular meeting for the members of Post 93, under the supervision of Sgt. Ramsey Mannon, as they went about their assigned duties at Savannah Technical College Effingham campus’ commercial driver’s license track.
For Thursday’s exercise, Rahn’s Wrecker Service brought two crumpled vehicles for the accident scenario. The scene was played out right down to speeding patrol cars with sirens and lights at full tilt. Explorers operated as traffic control, assessed injuries of the drivers and recorded information about the accident as part of their exercise.
“We’ve trained them on first aid and traffic control,” Sgt. Mannon said. “They got to do a little hands-on traffic control.”
The hands-on aspect appeals to the Explorers members.
“It helps us a lot,” said Amanda Lorenz, whose sister Coye is also a member of the Explorers post. “When we actually do stuff like this, we know what to do.”
Said Randy Scott: “The hands-on part is pretty cool. It’s about 90 percent hands-on, 10 percent classroom work. We probably spent about two months practicing in the classroom.”
Their classroom lessons have included how to properly place someone in handcuffs.
“We did a building search about eight months back,” Scott said.
The Explorers program, which started last September, meets every other Thursday at the sheriff’s department. Deputies and other law enforcement personnel discuss aspects of the profession, but the work in the field also shows them how it’s done.
“They get a different perspective than just us telling them about it,” Sgt. Mannon said.
Said Scott: “We learn a lot.”
The Explorers also will be conducting a class on domestic violence issues and they also will be beginning ride-alongs on June 1. To take part in the ride-alongs, the Explorers have to be at least 16 years old. The ride-alongs with patrol deputies are two hours at a time, and Explorers will learn patrol procedures and undergo officer safety training.
They’re also shown that law enforcement work can be gritty.
“It was hot and dusty and the wind was blowing, and they were complaining about their uniforms getting dirty,” Sgt. Mannon said. “I said, ‘welcome to police work.’”
About the Explorers:
Post 93 still has five slots open for membership. Youth from ages 15-20, who have no criminal background and maintain at least a C average in school, may apply. Membership is $11 and uniforms are purchased by the member.
For more information, visit the Web site www.effinghamsheriff.org and click on the Exploring tab.