Explorer/Jr FF programs as recruiting tools
While there are certainly other benefits, both to the community and the fire department, to having Junior Firefighter or Explorer programs, are such programs an efficient way to recruit volunteer firefighters? If you are primarily interested generating potential recruits, would these programs be a good use of your time in comparison to planning and carrying out more traditional recruiting drives?
I've got some experience in another volunteer organization with a junior component and for the most part only a small percentage of those that join as junior members move directly into becoming an adult member when they reach the right age. Most move on to college and other things and while a certain percentage re-join the program in their 30s and 40s, you can't really count on your local junior program as part of your adult recruiting campaign.