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The role college student to help supliment ranks

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  • The role college student to help supliment ranks

    I have a question. Do any departments/squads utilize full time college students to help supliment their dwindling ranks?

    I ask this question for several reasons:
    1) In my experience, college students tend to have more free time then they know what to do with, and when college students have too much free time, they tend to get in trouble.

    2) most full time college students don't work 9am-5pm. many are available during the daytime, when most adults are at work.

    3) Many college EMS squads have applicants lined up out the door with volunteers just looking to volunteer. why don't we, the local municipal departments and squads, actively recruit these people, especially if we have colleges or universities in our town, or in a neighboring town?

    4) there are students, who are either volunteer FFs or EMTs in their home town. when they go away to college, many still look to stay involved in emergency services while attending school. these people are not new, and many still have the eagerness and energy to give their time for something they enjoy.

    I think using college students can be a great resource. and it can't be a one time thing. active recruiting must occur every year, because the majority of college students will not last more than 4 years (4 years of undergrad). many will not continue with the department past graduation. but if you keep bringing in new members, the new incoming freshmen will replace the graduating seniors.

    The majority of the time, if an organization only responds to calls, this won't work. however, if an organization has duty crews / standby hours, and has facilities where a student could either study quietly and/or do laundry, it might help with coverage.

    So, do any departments do this, and do they have any suggestions as to how to do this effectively?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  • #2
    My EMS Squad has 3 or 4 college students that are very active when they are home for summer, Christmas break, Spring Break, etc. We don't have any colleges nearby so we don't have that "area" to recruit from.

    When I was in college in PA, myself and 3 others were very active in the local FD. Matter of fact, that was what led to my getting involved in EMS.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    • #3
      Matter-O-Fact we do.

      Both the Volly Fire Dept. & Rescue Squad (EMS Agency) use college students.

      The campus is less than a mile from either station and like you pointed out, the members you get from this age bracket are very eager, some are already very well trained and knowledgeable, and they are available during times when the "working folk" are not.

      With out going through the entire development history, we currently have one member who is a college professor & an EMT instructor. She teaches EMT as an elective class every other year and we will get a member or two from this class.

      We have also made arrangements with the college that when they have their "Club Fair Day" and all the extra curricular groups set up to recruit new members, both the FD & RS also have tables there.

      Another angle to take in recruitment, there are a lot of service based scholarships out there (some are through the colleges and others are organizational based). We have had some members who were Bonner Scholars. These students are required by the conditions of their scholarships to give back a set amount of hours in community service.

      Also - while talking about colleges - don't overlook faculty as potential members. These folks also have a somewhat flexible day time schedule and make for great on campus "advertising" as a spokesperson for your agency.

      My personal opinion as someone who has worked along side these students as well as being an agency head - you are seriously depriving your agency if you are not looking into recruiting college students.

      If you have someone who is not from your area that is willing to give up their time to give something back to your community by volunteering with you, you can bet they are going to be some high caliber people.
      Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
      Stephen
      FF/Paramedic
      Instructor

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