OK people, this seems to be the place to ask questions & since I saw no other postings here, I suspect perhaps that not many other places are feeling the crunch.
I come from a small combination department. I say combination because the "paid" crews are primarily there for our EMS operation & in times of need & with the proper training will staff an engine or our rescue.
Anyway, there was a period of time where we had dozen (give/take) people leave for various reasons & the influx of the volunteers is not there. Some of the employees hired appear to have fallen through a crack in the interview process. Warm bodies are taking the place of quality. (my opinions)
OK, I want to work on turning this around. I know it will be an up hill battle given the history of certain things in the department & am looking for assistance of anyone who has gone through this before.
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07-06-2002, 03:34 AM #1
07-11-2002, 11:50 AM #2
- Join Date
- May 2002
I have read, and practice alot of the techniques for the recruitment and retention of firefighters (and EMS personnel). Many would argue that the largest barrier is the level of training (which is partially true). But from my point of observation the single biggest problem is what do you do with them? Our first reaction is... LOTS! But how true is this comment, regardless of training or abilities. What is lacking is a plan of us, a vision of what is available, what they can be used for and a corresponding plan of deployment. How often has a new person shown an interest, they show up at the first meeting (if they don't know someone else they are mortified), and listen to us shoot the bull (or argue)?
If you are going to play a dangerous game, act professional and have a plan of attack. As you mentioned, you don't need volume you need quality. One thing that I found useful was an open house that simply addressed the community and their possible interest in service (a separate spouse/family orientation was also done when dealt with what they should expect and their role). Hopefully this will help you get started in the right direction.
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