Federal Legislation Eyed to Help Retain Volunteers

This is National Volunteer Week, and efforts to recruit responders continues.


For additional information and statistics, view the NVFC’s Fire Service Fact Sheet.

Recruitment and Retention Tips From EMS World

Some of the top tips we have collected from our contributors at EMS World include the following:

  • Minimize bureaucracy and paperwork
  • Eliminate membership committees
  • Empower everyone to answer questions and meet informally with potential candidates
  • Recruit 24/7, not just after losing members
  • Target groups such as students, retired workers and stay-at-home parents
  • Reach out to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts through a youth program
  • Create a support or auxiliary division for those who don’t run calls; members can contribute through teaching, maintenance, public outreach, social media, etc.
  • Recognize and accept help from wherever you can, such as from an accountant or marketing professional.
  • Keep the tone of your advertising positive, not desperate
  • See where you can be flexible with shift scheduling, policies and procedures 
  • Offer your building as a community space for various organizations
  • Let the public know when your volunteers receive new training, or what a recent donation went toward
  • Sometimes a token payment like $10 per shift is just enough to make it worthwhile for volunteers to be on-call
  • Training can be a good incentive—maybe your top performers get to go to state-level EMS conferences with expenses paid
  • Let people gain experience as drivers while completing their EMS training
  • If you have a combination paid/volunteer department, paid members must be used to support the volunteer members, not vice-versa
  • Become a preceptor site for college students, targeting people who are already EMTs looking to further their education
  • Find ways to get people to come through your doors, and then follow up with them

See the following EMS World articles for for more on these tips: How to Successfully Recruit Volunteers and <a class="" primary"="" data-cke-saved-href="http://base.cygnus.com/content/article/11374657/%22http://www.emsworld.com/article/10319339/volunteer-recruitment-in-ems%22" href="http://base.cygnus.com/content/article/11374657/%22http://www.emsworld.com/article/10319339/volunteer-recruitment-in-ems%22" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(30, 27, 29);">Getting Volunteers Through the Door.