Volunteer Leadership Roundtable

Volunteer fire-rescue leaders share their views on funding, staffing, training, health and safety, and other key topics.


Firehouse® Magazine is proud to present our first “Volunteer Leadership Roundtable,” featuring the views of a cross-section of leaders from the volunteer fire-rescue service. These are people who have stepped forward to take on demanding roles and responsibilities at a challenging time for...


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Turno: The one thing I would change is that all volunteers would take a serious look at themselves and the service they provide and understand that to ensure they are providing the best service to the community, they may need to move from a volunteer-based service to one that is either a career or combination. Another option is that some volunteer departments may need to merge to better provide service. This is because it is getting harder and harder to find volunteers who have the time and money to complete all the requirements required of us to stay proficient at what we do. Money is also a bigger issue and many communities just don’t have the financial resources to support the level required.

ET CETERA . . .
Is there is any other topic regarding the volunteer fire service about which you feel strongly? If so, please describe.

Borry:

Devonshire: To me, the bottom line issue is training. We need to concentrate more on training than ever before. Annually, the fire service across the country is becoming busier with new responsibilities being added almost daily. The only way we can be prepared to respond to these requests is to be appropriately trained.

We need to make training a daily responsibility. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Line-of-Duty- Death Summit Task Force has started an initiative to make every day a training day. Five simple tasks that can make all the difference.

Municipal officials, who are ultimately responsible for providing emergency services, must begin to step up to the plate and ensure that we can do our jobs safely and effectively. Better municipal funding will allow more time to be spent on training our firefighters for the tasks that they will be asked to do.

Turno: I started in the volunteer service and feel this is a great way to find out if this is the right career for you. It is also a service that many communities rely on and can give the volunteer that true feeling of service to man. The volunteer fire service can give individuals an opportunity to gain experience in management, leadership and confidence that they may not get anywhere else, except the military. The service is a great training ground for the future leaders of our communities and country.