Posted on December 15, 2012 by Tiger Schmittendorf
Volunteer fire departments, whether they realize it or not, compete for recruits. Sometimes with other volunteer fire departments but most often with a busy home life, other community organizations, volunteering opportunities and a wide array of social activities.
What if our recruits, like in college recruiting, were in competition with other recruits wanting to be selected by our fire departments? Would we see more or less candidates? More or less qualified? Or are they already in competition with each other?
More importantly, what can we learn from college athletic recruiters like the NCSA
who set up this registry
for potential recruits? Do you use language like: “SEIZE the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – and change your life” to describe the benefits of joining your volunteer fire department? (more…)
Filed under: Public Relations, Recruitment & Retention, Tactics | Tagged: BUNK-IN PROGRAM, candidate, clearinghouse, fire explorer, firefighter, from the x-box to the box alarm, junior firefighter, LIVE-IN PROGRAM, Public Relations, recruitment, tiger schmittendorf, volunteer, volunteer firefighter | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 19, 2012 by Tiger Schmittendorf
What you should and can ask an applicant about their criminal history is a smokey issue. What you can legally do with the information you receive can obscur your visibility even more.
As happens pretty frequently, I had a fire chief call recently to ask for some advice on what has become a bit of an arresting matter in his volunteer fire department.
It appears that a prospective candidate for membership was being honest when they checked off the little box on their fire department application that asks whether or not they’ve been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense. Essentially, they were being honest about being dishonest — now that’s what I call irony.
What to do? Deny the application. Case closed. Simple as that. Right? (more…)
Filed under: ALL, Bad News, Public Relations, Recruitment & Retention, Tactics | Tagged: candidate, clearinghouse, county, firefighter, prospective member guide, Public Relations, recruitment, tiger schmittendorf, volunteer ems, volunteer firefighter | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 24, 2012 by Tiger Schmittendorf
In an effort to increase the number of military placed back in the workplace after active service, the US Department of Homeland Security has announced it’s latest initiative as part of the SAFER grant program for recruitment, retention and hiring.
FireRECRUITER.com previously shared our thoughts about the opportunity to not only hire veterans into paid fire departments, but also the huge opportunity to recruit them into the volunteer fire service as a means of offering them a step-down and reintegration process that few other outlets offer. (more…)
Filed under: Grants, News, Recruitment & Retention, Soldier-Firefighter | Tagged: clearinghouse, firefighter, recruitment, SAFER, tiger schmittendorf, volunteer firefighter | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 22, 2012 by Tiger Schmittendorf
SHARED COURTESY OF FASNY and Nell Killoran, Senior Editor, The Volunteer Firefighter [www.FASNY.com and www.abcideabased.com] Images created or modified by FireRECRUITER.com
Erie County is supporting their 94 volunteer fire departments in their VolunteerNY efforts by offering free design and marketing assistance
Recruiting and retaining manpower is one of the greatest challenges, if not the greatest challenge, we face in the volunteer fire service.
To help address this issue, FASNY created and launched the Recruit NY campaign last April in 2011. Hopefully this rings a bell for you and your department was able to draw in some great new recruits from the event. If your department did not participate last year, this is your year to get involved.
As you may or may not remember, the campaign’s objective was primarily to implement a statewide recruitment initiative during National Volunteer Week in April 2011. This new approach saw FASNY, the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, Association of Fire Districts of New York State, Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York and County Fire Coordinators Association of the State of New York all join forces to assist fire departments in expanding their recruitment efforts. This was a first-of-its-kind type of effort and a very successful one, at that. (more…)
Filed under: ALL, Grants, News, Public Relations, Recruitment & Retention | Tagged: ABC Creative, clearinghouse, fasny, fire explorer, Grants, junior firefighter, Public Relations, recruitment, RecruitNY, retention, SAFER, tiger schmittendorf, volunteer, volunteer firefighter, VolunteerNY | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 20, 2012 by Tiger Schmittendorf
OK, maybe that’s not how the song goes, but I have to thank my good friend Bill Schumm over at FireGeezer.com for doing my FireRECRUITER work for me.
In his February 17th Morning Lineup features (and updated on February 20th), he discusses and demonstrates the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of using video as a recruitment tool. While his perspective on why we face the recruitment and retention challenges we do are certainly part of puzzle, the value of his commentary lies in the subliminal call to action that we need to be more creative in creating the solutions.
Certainly, a recruitment video with appropriate visuals and a good, solid message can be effective, but FireGeezer proposes that we need to do something about our culture, our society, to inspire and perpetuate volunteerism. I couldn’t agree more.
However, I feel that before we can tackle the 300 pound elephant of societal viewpoints, we should first look inward at our own culture. No longer can we afford to act as a “secret society” — shunning those who don’t necessarily fit our traditonal demographic or the model of what a firefighter “used to be.” While we must certainly strive towards those who can embrace or already share our value system, reality is that those people come in different shapes and sizes, colors and backgrounds too. (more…)
Filed under: ALL, Grants, Public Relations, Recruitment & Retention, Tactics, VIDEO | Tagged: clearinghouse, fire explorer, from the x-box to the box alarm, Grants, junior firefighter, recruitment, SAFER, tiger schmittendorf, VIDEO, volunteer, volunteer firefighter | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 7, 2011 by Tiger Schmittendorf
According to this report released at NVFC.org, there were 44,000 fewer volunteer firefighters in 2010 compared to 2009, a reduction of 5.4 percent, according to the U.S. Fire Department Profile Through 2010, an annual report that was recently issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The loss of volunteers is primarily coming in communities with populations of 2,500 or fewer, which were protected by 377,550 firefighters in 2010 compared with 408,550 in 2009, a drop of approximately 7.6 percent.
[Read the balance of the article here.]
Without reading the entire study, one could wonder whether or not those numbers are a bad thing or just a truer reflection of the real number of volunteers directly involved in firefighting, not just total number of active and inactive members of volunteer fire departments. If you read on in the NVFC article you’ll learn that while the total numbers are going down, the average age of those left behind is going up. That’s a real issue we need to address immediately and constantly. (more…)
Filed under: ALL, Bad News, News, Recruitment & Retention | Tagged: candidate, clearinghouse, firefighter, recruitment, retention, SAFER, tiger schmittendorf, toolkit, volunteer firefighter, WWW.FDLIVEIN.COM | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 11, 2011 by Tiger Schmittendorf
An article posted to FirefighterNation.com today outlines the challenges faced by volunteer fire departments in Pennsylvania in recruiting and retaining their members. Although these types of articles are becoming all too frequent, this one in particular is better than most in that it focuses on the positives of being a volunteer firefighter — not all the negatives. I’ve cited many examples of what not to say if you’re actually looking to solve your R&R challenges in a previous post titled “Is this our best approach?” Too often, we hand a prospective candidate all of the reasons and excuses why they wouldn’t join on a silver platter. (more…)
Filed under: ALL, News, Recruitment & Retention, Tactics | Tagged: BUNK-IN PROGRAM, clearinghouse, county, from the x-box to the box alarm, hyattsville volunteers, junior firefighter, LIVE-IN PROGRAM, military, pennsylvania, recruitment, retention, run-to-the-curb type kids, tiger schmittendorf, toolkit, US Army, volunteer, volunteer fire, volunteer firefighter, WWW.FDLIVEIN.COM | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 31, 2011 by Tiger Schmittendorf
Check out Burlington Township (NJ) Volunteer Fire Department's new pub ed banners
There’s been plenty to tweet about lately regarding recruitment and retention in the fire service. Some of the info shared is good news and some is bad news, regardless, it all contains lessons we can learn from. Sometimes there’s so much activity and so much being shared, that it’s tough for even someone as “connected” as I am to keep up with.
With many fire prevention activities wrapping up for the month of October, many fire departments took advantage of the added exposure to share and maximize their volunteering, public education and public relations opportunities; including the Burlington Township Volunteer Fire Department which the FireRECRUITER has been working with for the past six months. The featured photo shows off the new banners they’ve created for their successful pub ed efforts — which are smartly and directly linked to their recruitment efforts.
Some of my Tweets are original finds I stumble upon while others are retweets of others’ discoveries. Nonttheless, in case you missed them, here are some of the highlights of recent tweets with plenty of examples of what does and doesn’t work in in recruiting, motivating, leading, training and retaining today’s firefighters. Follow the links for great reads, resources, tips and tricks. (more…)
Filed under: ALL, Bad News, News, Public Relations, Recruitment & Retention, Tactics | Tagged: clearinghouse, Fire Critic, FireCritic.com, firefighter, junior firefighter, recruitment, retention, tiger schmittendorf, volunteer firefighter, WWW.FDLIVEIN.COM | 2 Comments »