Delaware’s recruitment clearinghouse site does a great job of getting the right information in the hands of the right people by sharing scrolling sections that explain what it means to be a volunteer; and detail both the benefits and requirements of volunteering.
It lays the foundation for realistic expectations, sharing that “In any given week you will spend some time in training, attending meetings, maintaining equipment, and a variety of other duties in addition to going out on calls…an average weekly commitment can be five to eight hours.”
It also talks about how some volunteer fire departments have [smartly] diversified their workforce with administrative staff to help run the corporate side of the Fire Company, Fire Police, and Auxiliary members who support in a variety of ways – exemplifying the FireRECRUITER.com motto that “Firefighting isn’t for everyone – but volunteering can be!”
Has your fire department ever considered conducting a co-op advertising and marketing program for recruiting new volunteers, promoting fire and life safety or just generally good public relations?
Maybe you should. Think of the benefits of partnering with a local business, corporation or even another community group or non-profit organization. Cost sharing is the most obvious outcome but there are several underlying themes that could benefit both parties in the partnership.
A recent article in Fast Company Magazine got me thinking once again about what the fire service can learn from other industries and disciplines — both good and bad.
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. Continue reading “Can you rise to the challenge?”
Tiger Schmittendorf, aka the “FireRECRUITER” will be going back to Indianapolis later this month to present at FDIC – the Fire Department Instructors Conference – the largest gathering of firefighters in the world. He’ll be presenting “Understanding and Motivating Today’s Firefighters” as a repeat performance of “From the X-Box to the Box Alarm” presented at FDIC 2010. Here’s all the details from http://tigerschmittendorf.com/2011/03/07/x-box-live/. See you in Indy. Look me up. Continue reading FireRECRUITER Goes to Indy
I typically reserve my commentary type articles for my flagship site but I think it’s appropriate to divest from that practice for the purpose of this post.
The following article tells of a small city that is threatening to stop collecting a voluntary public donation that has brought thousands and thousands of dollars in mission-critical equipment to their combination (paid/volunteer) fire department.
Apparently, the threat is in response to a dwindling number of volunteer firefighters in their department, between 5 and 10, as the article points out. Without a lot of volunteers, they apparently don’t feel it’s appropriate to collect a donation on behalf of the volunteer side of their fire department. This situation seems to be causing quite a riff in the department. Continue reading “Make the Right Investments”
Don’t discount or write-off the value of people coming to the fire service with some life-experience under their belt. That maturity can turn out to be a huge advantage to your fire department, especially when teamed with the free spirits of Generation Y.