1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Blairsville PA

    Default Recruitment and Retention of JF's

    I run with a small department with about 15 active members 4 of which are juniors. I'm having a hard time keeping my juniors interested and involved in the department and the fire service in general, one of which is my own brother. What I need is a way to keep my juniors interested and active so that I don't lose what members I have. I go as far as hose training and SCBA drills to get them involved but it just isn't enough. I'm looking at losing a few veterans in the next few years to retirement so I need to keep all that I have now and get a few more interested. Any thoughts or ideas are welcome

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    voyager9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Southern NJ


    Juniors are tough.. we pretty much assume that a large percentage of our Junior Firefighters will disappear once they graduate. It's not necessarily a bad thing, a lot of them end up running with the FD near college. We've also had quite a few settle in town and become active senior members or get hired by the department or others nearby.

    Also, deep down Juniors are just teenagers. They have the attention span of a sparrow and the hormones of a rabbit. Most of ours are very good and keep active but there are a lot of conflicts... school sports, friends, family..etc. We keep the bar high and expect them to step up, but we also realize there are other factors and try to be flexible.

    I've found that keeping the training simple and hands-on helps a lot. Make it fun, interesting, and physically involving. Also giving them some responsibility for their own training helps too. We give ours a "Junior book" with everything they should know how to do. Most of them will take the initiative to go off and figure things out on their own (or ask the senior guys) without scheduled training.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live

  3. #3
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    Beaver52's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Allentown, PA


    Im a junior and me personally i dont have a problem with commitment for my station. but, i can see where you are coming from. it is tough for a high school student to balance fire service, school, possibly a job, and trying to have a social life. the main question i have though is do you let your juniors run on calls and actively take part in training and learning the equipment? and do the other firefighters constantly bust on the juniors and make them feel unwanted or not needed?
    Upper Macungie Township Station 56, Allentown, PA
    Vigilant Hose Company #1, Shippensburg, PA

    The things I post do not reflect the views of the affiliations I belong to.

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