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…)
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…)
A college education is one of the greatest gifts and rewards we can ever offer a volunteer firefighter.
Giving them the opportunity to earn a college degree makes them more employable. Making them more employable offers them the opportunity to secure and succeed at a better paying job. Succeeding at a better paying job offers them a better opportunity to remain local, allowing them to give their time and dedication to serving your community. That’s what’s called: ROI – Return On Investment.
It’s a relatively simple equation — stuff you don’t even need a college degree to figure out that it can work for your fire department and your fire service. (more…)
The FireRECRUITER’s helmet is off to my good friend and fellow recruiter Frank Hutton and Rockland County’s Creative Approach to the Fire Service Committee for putting forth a great effort in addressing recruitment and retention in their region.
With the help of a SAFER grant from the US Department of Homeland Security, they’ve produced a web site with cool videos for all age groups. B1O1.org features a music video and lots of great content in focusing on challenging prospective volunteers to “Be One of the Ones.”
And they’ve integrated collateral materials to support the web campaign including tent cards, brochures, kiosk, radio and outdoor advertising; and a complete package approach with a program folder wrapper. (more…)
Many fire departments across the nation are having staffing and budgeting challenges, regardless of whether they are career, volunteer and combination. Such is the case for these departments in Texas identified in this article titled: “Suburban Fire Districts Sound the Alarm” in the Houston Chronicle.
Once we’ve identified the problems, the question we always have to ask is: What are you going to do about it?
Posted on December 18, 2009 by Tiger Schmittendorf
During the present difficult economic circumstances being experienced by
local jurisdictions, many potential Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant applicants have expressed concern regarding the prohibition against using SAFER funds to supplant local budgets and the Secretary’s ability to waive the prohibition.
DHS has revisited the existing policy on supplanting for the 2009 SAFER funding cycle. The Secretary has decided that DHS will consider petitions for waivers on supplanting from 2009 grantees on a case-by-case basis and under certain conditions.
In order for all potential applicants to have sufficient time to consider this revised policy guidance, DHS will extend the 2009 SAFER application period. The new application deadline will be 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Friday, January 15, 2010.
Editor’s Note: I don’t know about you but that’s great news as I still had three more SAFER grant applications to finish by Friday night. Get busy everyone. Even if you haven’t started — there’s now time to get an application started.
With this entry, I’d like to start a new post to review some videos that provide insight into the fire service and others that are created to motivate citizens to join our ranks. Stop back often as we’ll try to regularly feature and review different videos.
12/08/09 – I’ll start at home with this link to our Boot Camp video developed by WKBW-TV (Channel 7 in Buffalo NY) which describes the 10-day intensive training that we offer every summer at the Erie County Fire Academy. This full length feature was first shown at the graduation ceremony for Boot Camp Class of 2006 during which it was filmed by WKBW Photographer Chris Couell and narrated by Pete Kenworthy, their news anchor who joined the Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department and was embedded in the class as a student. (more…)