Can anyone help?
Our volunteer numbers have dropped from 196 volunteers to 40 in two years! We are at an all time low. We have 35 pieces of apparatus and when we have a fire such as a structure, it is usually only one man per truck and NO more than 5 firefighters. Our district is over 700 square miles, and protects over 12,000 people. Administration is not our problem, our chief and officers highly respect everyone and, even walk on egg-shells to keep from offending someone. Are there any suggestions that anyone could suggest. Our biggest fear is comprimising the quality of care given to our residents.
Any Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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07-13-1999, 08:17 AM #1cf1Firehouse.com Guest
07-13-1999, 01:57 PM #2AnimalFirehouse.com Guest
At the local high school, we began a program in the 1997-1998 school year that has been amazingly sucessful. We have been offering the Firefighter I and EMT-B course as a class at the school. The classes rotate, with FFI being offered 1 year, and EMT-B the next year. The students and community have been extremely supportive, and the students graduating from the class have been awesome. Offering the class at the high school seems to be one solution to our recruitment/retention situation :-)
07-17-1999, 09:18 PM #3RKenny BFDNYFirehouse.com Guest
35 pieces of appartus and over 700 square miles of coverage places a high demand on any department. A suggestion to you may be to offer a retirement system, however my personal feeling is that retirement systems don't do much for younger firefighters. A target audience you should reach out to is the 20-25 year old firefighters. Offer incentives, not just free training, gear provided etc. Your department may try to host monthly social activities and especially sponser and fund a annual trip to the local professional sporting events. This has worked very well in my department, taken an annual trip to the Buffalo Bills games, with the department providing the ticket, food, and chartered bus. It is a great time, and each and every year we have younger 18-20 year olds expressing interest. Our junior firefighters are allowed to take a guest each year free of charge with the dept. funding it. This has resulted in at least 3 junior firefighters and one firefighter joining the ranks every year. Not bad for a department of 30.
07-19-1999, 04:02 PM #4TigerFirehouse.com Guest
Has your number of alarms dropped or increased dramatically in that same time frame?
Have you detected an increasing number or activity of cliques - or infighting?
What incentive programs do you have? Perhaps you're targeting the wrong "audience" with your incentive programs.
I am the Deputy Fire Coordinator in charge of Training and Recruitment for Erie County (Buffalo NY) and provide recruitment and retention training to our 94 volunteer departments.
Your problem is not unique but asking for help is. This forum is a great platform for doing just that.
[This message has been edited by WebTeam (edited July 19, 1999).]
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