1. #1
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    Default Volunteer Recruiting Success

    Advertising Blitz Lures Pennsylvania Firefighters

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. --

    The Alpha Fire Company is trying to attract more volunteers by advertising on television and radio.

    "We somehow have to get people to understand if you want these services, people have to step up and volunteer," Fire Director Steven Bair told WJAC News Monday.

    With the slow economy and numerous other organizations in need of volunteers, Bair launched a media blitz.

    At one point, the fire company was 60 percent students, 40 percent permanent residents.

    Bair said, "We're very pleased to have the students, but the downside with students is they graduate and leave, and so you always have about 25 percent of the fire company in a state of flux at any given year.��

    Bair said the radio and television ads seem to be reaching those permanent residents who now make up 55 percent of the 115 volunteers. He has also seen another area improve.

    "In our Patton Township we've improved our response statistics through 2008 by 10 percent, and that is the direct result of filling the live-in spots out there and having more people who live in that area respond to the Patton station," said Bair.

    The Department of Homeland Security awarded Alpha Fire Company the grant. Bair wants to apply to extend it this year and possibly make the campaign more regional.


    Shows that aggressive recruiting can attract volunteers.

    Not sure what techniques they used as they are not detailed in the article but it would be interesting to find out.

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    I'll have to look and see if I can find the commercial they have been running.

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    Not sure what techniques they used
    and that is the direct result of filling the live-in spots
    "Why pay a mortgage? Live here free"
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I would have loved an opportunity like that when I was in college.

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    When I was on a Kentucky volunteer department,I'd drive around southern Illinois as part of my job and I saw a couple departments that did that.Room and board for students taking fire science classes and paying some of the tutition.
    Memphis has had a similar program for the PD called Police Service Technicians since the 80s but it seems to be going away.It's kinda like ROTC for the police.
    What the deal is that the city pays for the student's tuition and in return,the students patrol Memphis responding to wrecks,concerts and sporting events for traffic control.They don't carry guns or have powers of arrest.They just write up wrecks and can ticket for parking violations,I believe.
    When the student graduates,they owe the city(I think again) four years as a regular patrol officer and then they can apply for other positions within the department or to other departments.
    I could see that working in a fire department setting.
    The best way I recruited for my old department was to simply wear a department t shirt while going about my daily business,work or recreation.No,not every day.I have some whacker shirts but still have more non fire related shirts in the rotation.Yes,I had a pager but after the novelty wore off(second or third day,I think)I figured how to keep it tuned to only my department's setting and on vibrate.
    People would often ask me about joining and if they lived outside our district,I'd always suggest that they look into their area's department and maybe join them.
    It beat telling them,"Naw,you gotta move to our area to join."
    We got a few good people that way and only a couple (that I've been told of since my leaving) were the kind that "wanted to go blowing through town at 90 mph in my car and not get a ticket.."

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    Bones is correct. Live-in programs, successful with nearby community college, college and university programs. Very popular in some mid-Atlantic departments.

    "-but the downside with students is they graduate and leave, and so you always have about 25 percent of the fire company in a state of flux at any given year."

    What I write may not apply to Pennsylvania; however, the biggest attraction comes from surrounding career departments that are recruiting. The downside is that it attracts the out-of-state volunteer and doesn't fill the ranks with 'townies'. Another downside is the length of time for specific state certification and/or reciprocity to be accomplished.
    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
    Andy Fredericks,
    FDNY E.48, SQ.18
    Alexandria, VA F.D.

    Rest in Peace

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