Posted on January 23, 2013 by Tiger Schmittendorf
Given the national decline in experience-building fire load (aka-the work we do as firefighters), I’ve written before about the challenge of today’s fire service leaders to dig in and invest more in their firefighters than ever before to prepare them for success – and succession.
While my first passion lies in recruiting the brightest and the best, training your replacements is one of the most important steps in retaining their valued services. A well structured, disciplined approach to company training is a proven incentive for your firefighters to invest more time and energy in learning their craft and “responding to the call.”
I encourage you to read “Train Your Replacement. Bob did. Paul does.” from my flagship site: TigerSchmittendorf.com and reap all the benefits of digging in and proliferating the TrainYourReplacement.com attitude.
Stay safe. Train often.
Filed under: ALL, GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES, Recruitment & Retention, Youth Programs | Tagged: brotherhood, firefighter, from the x-box to the box alarm, recruitment, retention, story telling, tiger schmittendorf, TRAIN YOUR REPLACEMENT, TRAINING | Leave a Comment »
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 July 30, 2012 by Tiger Schmittendorf
As I’ve shared previously in “From the Xbox to the Box Alarm” and “Dig In!” — I’m continually conducting my own observational research of the people who are already, or soon will be our replacements in the fire service: GenY.
My personal research of what I’ve dubbed the “Xbox Generation” is supported and enhanced by more formal research conducted by folks a lot smarter than me (not that it takes a lot to qualify for that! LOL). As I often do when faced with a challenge, I look outside the fire service for resources from other disciplines to gain a fresh perspective and see how I can apply their solutions to the industry I love. For as two of my favorite authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath say, “Find a bright spot and clone it.” These resources may include books, magazines and other media outlets — especially if they mention the importance of storytelling as a means of conveying our message!
One such resource I regularly rely on to get a clue about these Millenials and their unique attitudes and attributes is a periodic eNewsletter titled “Engage: GenY” from MediaPost Publications. The short articles offer a variety of perspectives from a variety of contributors and you don’t have to read far to find titles that quickly grab your attention and correlate to our efforts to learn more about these young people infiltrating our fire service. (more…)
Filed under: ALL, GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES, Recruitment & Retention, Youth Programs | Tagged: brotherhood, from the x-box to the box alarm, story telling, tiger schmittendorf, values, volunteer firefighter, WWW.FDLIVEIN.COM | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 4, 2012 by Tiger Schmittendorf
A young firefighter checks his mobile device while returning from a run
A recent e-mail blast from Fire Chief Magazine included a video interview with a training officer in a combination fire department in Texas where he shared his views on the impact of generational differences in the fire service.
While I agree with most of his viewpoints, his comment that today’s generation are only focused on “the here and now” contradicts what other researchers have found. As mentioned in my article “From the Xbox to the Box Alarm,” Dr. Renee Downey-Hart indicates that this generation is actually just the opposite, that they are very “future focused” as she describes in her research here.
Read more about the impact of what I’ve dubbed the “Xbox Generation” and discuss it here.
Filed under: ALL, GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES, Recruitment & Retention, VIDEO | Tagged: FIRE CHIEF MAGAZINE, from the x-box to the box alarm, JANET WILMOTH, recruitment, retention, tiger schmittendorf, volunteer ems, volunteer firefighter | 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 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 April 25, 2011 by Tiger Schmittendorf
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…)
Filed under: ALL, Grants, News, Public Relations, Recruitment & Retention, Tactics, VIDEO, Youth Programs | Tagged: clearinghouse, county, explorer, exploring, fire explorer, firefighter, from the x-box to the box alarm, grant, Grants, junior firefighter, recruitment, retention, rockland county, SAFER, tiger schmittendorf, VIDEO, volunteer, volunteer firefighter | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 22, 2011 by Tiger Schmittendorf
Leadership, motivation, attitudes, safety, mentorship, negativity, recruitment, retention — sound like anything that might need addressing in your firehouse?
Then this leadership symposium is for you!
This two-day seminar brings together some of the hottest firehouse topics from some of the fire service’s emerging leaders including FireRECRUITER.com’s own Tiger Schmittendorf.
He’ll be joined by his good friend and fellow blogger Deputy Chief Jason Hoevelmann from Sullivan MO, Lt. Mike Mason, Downers Grove FD (IL) and Chief Tim Holman, German Township (OH) Fire & EMS.
Check out http://firstinresponseessentials.com/ for all the details. Be sure to download and share the flyer too.
We hope to see you there.
Stay safe. Train often.
Filed under: ALL, Recruitment & Retention, Tactics | Tagged: from the x-box to the box alarm, recruitment, tiger schmittendorf, toolkit, volunteer | Leave a Comment »