VCOS Radio: How to Double Your Department's Staffing

Download this Podcast » Editor Peter Matthews reports from the VCOS Symposium in the Sun about two departments that have seen very successful recruitment programs.

The first guest is Chief John Bales from the Golden, CO, Fire Department, the recipient of the VCOS & VFIS Retention and Recruitment Award presented at the conference.

In 2005, the IRS visited the fire department to look at the paperwork it was issuing. While this led to a small decline in the membership, several other measures were taken to increase the department's staffing.

Just how did they more than double their membership? They won a SAFER grant, hired a volunteer coordinator and changed their bylaws.

We also speak with Chief Brian Hickerson of the Nokesville, VA, Volunteer Fire & Rescue. Their unique recruitment toll is junk mail.

The department was faced with the need to staff a second station as the area grew from 10,000 residents to over 33,000. The simple postcards inviting them to a recruitment open house are mailed to every resident in their first-due response area.

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Related Links

City of Golden, CO, Fire Department

Golden VCOS Award Nomination (PDF)

Nokesville Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department

VCOS Red Ribbon Report (PDF)

VCOS Blue Ribbon Report (PDF)

VCOS White Ribbon Report (PDF)

SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant

Volunteer & Combination Officer's Section

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