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  • Recruitment and Morale

    I have an area for great concern. Saturday around 6 opm the tones went off for a fire. We have two stations. The main station houses 1 Mini Pumper, 2 Pumpers, and 1 Tanker. The other only has 1 older brush truck. The fire was located outside of the smaller depts. city limits. The total response was only 8 people. As you can see this is NOT acceptable. This could have easily been any one of our memebers homes. Our department needs more members. I was interested in how your depts. recruit and what you do for morale to keep them active and interested. Please let me know what your departments do.

    Jeremy Culver
    IACOJ Bureau of EMS

    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

    Help our fellow firefighters.
    www.helpingourown.com
    "Firefighters Helping Firefighters"

  • #2
    The department I volunteer for is a combination department, having both volunteer and full time career members. The Department has an active campaign advertising for volunteer recruits, explaining the free training available. In addition, those of us who show promise and put in enough time usually get the opportunity to go to the fire academy at the cost of the county. I went to fire school and EMT school for nothing because of the county fire service. In addition to the training, the county holds quarterly awards ceremonies for all members and encourages career members to work with and help the volunteers.

    Hope this helps you
    Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

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    • #3
      CodeBlue,
      My department much like yours began to see a huge downfall in active members, especially those who were firefighter 1 qualified. About 2-3 years ago we started an active campaign to recruit new members. We found the best way was really word of mouth- almost all of our new members(including the 5 that have just finished there firefighter 1 certs) were good friends of people already in the fire department. Most of our recruiting results came from people who knew someone in the fire department and expressed an interest to help the community. 1 year ago we had 4-5 junior firefighters; because of 1 of our junior firefighters taking the intiative and going out and talking to other high school kids and seeing who wanted to join, we now boast a junior program of 16 firefighters . Why in the end we will most likely loose a few of these people we recruit, the ones we manage to keep are worth it. Our method was simple- put ads in the paper and a sign out front but more importantly, talk to the people around you and see who has interest to help the community and have fun while doing it. Hope this helps. Be safe!
      Brookside Engine Company, (NJ)-Captain
      Morristown(NJ) Fire Department-FF
      Mendham Township First Aid(NJ)-EMT- Officer

      These views are my own and do not reflect those of these departments

      Comment


      • #4
        We're thinking about doing our first recruitment drive in the form of a mass mailing. Anybody know of a form and fire/EMS type graphics on the web suitable for this. Any suggestions on wording would also be appreciated.

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          We are in a similar position, compounded by the fact that we are also a really small district. Our current membership runs at about 12. Up until a month ago, we were stagnant at 8 for almost a year: new people moving into the area is a wonderful thing.

          We have also recently commenced the mail order flyer recruiting drive and also hosted an open house. Our Web Guy, Jason was the one who created the flyer, and he can be reached at: [email protected] if you have any questions on where he found his graphics and other ideas. He did a really great job on it too.
          Malahat27: "Play safe y'all."

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          • #6
            Code Blue,

            The volunteer department I'm in has the same problem; From the 50 FF positions we have, only 30-something are coming. The 10 others are non-showing or only coming to major, "interesting" calls.

            Last month we reorganised into 3 teams in stead of 4, just because of that. There are also 10 places immediately vacant, plus we're placing a reserve.
            I am responsible for a recruitment action.

            What we do is place adds into the local newspaper, and try to recruite our friends.
            We made a flyer, it says "Our Fire Department is always ready for you... Are you ready for the Fire Department"

            When I Started my rookie year training in the career fire department last year, There were 18 new guys. 4 rookies started last month. there were about 200 applicants.
            I must say that more than 100 of them were adventure seekers, or people seeking for an 'easy' job at the government.

            As you see the need for firefighters exists everywhere. I guess not so many people are willing to give up their free time (and their good night's rest).

            I guess the answer is with the youth: we have a children's fire department, mostly sons & daughters of firefighters, but not completely.
            Children are still fascinated by the sight of a fire truck, this gives them a chance to have a taste of the 'real' thing...

            Our last recruitment consisted of 4 18-year old guys coming from there.

            I hope i've helped a bit...


            C ya

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            • #7
              Recruting is very important, but it is also just as important to. Keeping the training interesting, yet still learning what need to be learned is the most important. I am on a paid department, but we have the same problem of getting people motivated to train. Unfortunately there are some things that just aren't fun to train on. We try and mix those up and sandwich them in between more interesting subjects.

              I hope that this helps out a little.

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              • #8
                When i used to volunteer, it was hard to get some vollies....we had pancake breakfasts, chilli dinners, anything to let the public know we were there, and tell them about some free training that goes on..if your city or village or whatever pays for EMT classes or reimburses you for passing or whatever..always mention that you are accepting positions for volunteers...and always have good PR..there is nothing worse than having a bad PR...nobody will want to go there
                stay safe
                Its not something you do,
                Its something you are.
                "Whether we bring the terrorists to justice, or we bring justice to the terroists...Justice WILL BE DONE"... President Bush
                Engineer
                Engine Co. # 1
                THESE ARE JUST MY OPINIONS AND OPINIONS ONLY!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, as a new recruit at a Vol. organization, I figured I'd throw in my two cents...

                  A little background...
                  I've always been interested in a career in emergency services. I've actually been thinking about a full time switch but anyways... Our dept is a combination system. The career guys staff the stations 24 hrs a day and the volunteers supplement that. The county classes run about 20 students every 2 months. Granted it's a large number of recruits, the county's population is about the size of Rhode Island. Those twenty students are split among about 12 volunteer stations. The individual stations are responsible for their own recruiting... make any sense?

                  One of the first things I noticed was the wealth of information about volunteering in my county online. The next great thing was the amount of training, all paid for by the county. I'll end up with EMT, Firefighter I/II, and EVOC without any expense to me. I can continue after that to become an instructor, technician or any other number of specialties. Granted this all takes time, almost 18 months, it's a great program.

                  PR is another big source. We do everything from Fire Safety Presentations for elementary age kids to all the local fairs we can find. We also hit high school football games as stand by units, but in all honesty, that ends up being great PR also.

                  The way I see it, there are people in the community that want to do this great service for their own community. They just have to be reached.

                  Good luck with your recruitment.
                  - Josh.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    okay we're short on guys but be careful when you take on new recruits okay. We have a 3 phase "interview/screening process" to ours
                    1st you fill out paperwork for background check and that stuff
                    2nd you get questions ask by members(like why do you wanna be a firefighter)(basically to make sure this is a okay recuit
                    the final step is to ask people in the community is this guy or girl good.
                    When i joined they did this to me.
                    i look as it's better to have 2 good firefighters vs 20 firefighters that don't know the difference between a water winch and spanner.

                    Comment

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