Kennison Adams, 18, of Edwardsville, Ill., a senior at Edwardsville High School, has dedicated more than 450 community service hours over the past three years to assisting people in emergency situations and other events as a member of the Edwardsville Fire Department Explorer Post. She learned about the opportunity to serve her community in that capacity at an informational presentation in her medical careers class. “I have always had a passion for medicine, along with a compassion for helping others, and this program combined both aspects,” said Kennison.
In order to join the Explorer Post program, Kennison had to be trained and certified in CPR, first aid and blood-borne pathogen safety, and learn how to draw blood and start IVs. Now, she makes sure fire trucks and ambulances are stocked and ready for emergency calls, rides along with first responders to assist in any way she can, and cleans up vehicles afterwards. Kennison also provides hands-on help at community events, including fire department open houses and safety awareness presentations, pediatric cancer fundraisers and local homecoming carnivals and festivals. She previously served as assistant chief of her Explorer Post program.