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Cures for recruiting problems?

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  • Cures for recruiting problems?

    Ok, here's the deal. Like many volunteer depts, we have had a recruiting problem in the last two or three years. We are a seperate Fire/Rescue, but you can have dual membership, and many do. The recruitment problem is on the EMS side. I've thought about going to the local high school, maybe to local churches and other places where people may gather. The only problem is, some of the older members don't think we have a problem, and are convinced it is ok to have to wait ten minutes or more during the day for people to show up for a call. Any recommendations?

    Michael Wood

  • #2
    Maybe you should remind them that the first time that 10 minute response results in a loss of life, and the familyis in the right frame of mind they WILL come back on the squad. And speaking from experience (more than once)people WILL do this. Luckily for us eacht time, the claims were refuted by 911 tapes and we were vindicated fully.

    Regarding the High School thing. I know that a department I was on 12 years ago, used high school students as cadets. They were "orange helmets". This designation prevented them from breaking the laws reagrding underage personnel participating in Hazardous Duties. Regarding them being members of the squad. I know of MANY people that got their start while they were in High School.

    The only questions I would urge you to consider are ons that you probably have, but I will post them anyway.

    The students we used were Seniors. They had it worked out someway that they were able to leave school for emergencies at times, and not at others.

    This limited their avaiablitity naturally. I personally agreed on that topic, as their getting a good education should come first.

    Question: What would your insurance company say?
    A squad I was on, had the rule of no one under the age of 21 was covered for driving. We allowed them to be on the squad, but only to assist the EMTs until that person turned 18, which is the law in Nebraska for being eligible for EMT licensure. Then, that peson would automatically be one of the ones in the back of the squad. But, what about until then? If your department has the same limitations from their insurance company, then that would mean that these personnel would unfortunately do no good in solving your problem.

    I don't want to say that it is a bad idea, because I do believe that it is good to cultivate the interest early, but the companies and government seem to over-rule our needs as we see them.

    I have no other suggestions on recruiting, because even though we have our bad moments where our membership is down and we cannot BUY a recruit, right now, we are fortunate, and we have a waiting list going. (Knock on wood) Our state DOES hace a state-wide hotline though that assists in recruiting. We do not currently participate due to lack of need. But departments 45 miles away DO use it, and they seem to be happy with it.

    I hope this helps. If I can think of anything else I'll pass it along.

    Your Brother In The Service,
    Rob Herpel
    Vice-Pres./Asst. EMS Coordinator
    Fremont Rural Fire Department


    • #3
      Thanks for your help. I think this is a topic fire and rescue personnel just about anywhere can relate to.

      Michael Wood


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