An article recently posted to FirefighterNation.com outlines the challenges faced by volunteer fire departments in Pennsylvania in recruiting and retaining their members. Although these types of articles are becoming all too frequent, this one in particular is better than most in that it focuses on the positives of being a volunteer firefighter — not all […]
The world is changing rapidly and the fire service is getting caught up in the tornado effect of technology on our society. More and more fire departments are smartly using web sites, e-mail and social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter to recruit new firefighters and to stay connected to their community. There isn't much you […]
My helmet is off to the folks in the Syosset NY Fire Department for recognizing 40+ aged recruits as a viable part of the solutions to our recruitment and retention challenges. Age is Nothing But a Number at Syosset Fire Dept. Joining later in life is becoming more the norm The approach and image of […]
If you had just 30 seconds to convince someone why they should join your volunteer fire department, what would you say?
What would your message be? Do you have a standard sales pitch that you use for just such occasions? Can you even say hello in 30 seconds?
I recently had the opportunity to coach and practice some speed-recruiting exercises with the Doyle Hose Co. 1 in Cheektowaga NY. They had been invited to be a part of career day at the local high school in their response area and they invited me to join them.
This was the second installment of “Sound Magazine” that focused on volunteer recruitment and more are planned for the future.
It offered me the opportunity to talk about being a kid who “ran to the curb” whenever I heard a fire siren and all of the great things that come with being a volunteer firefighter.
“Early on in my fire service career, we responded to a report of a tractor-trailer rolled over on a nearby state highway. We arrived on scene and found a truck lying on its passenger side. The wheels were facing the roadway and the top of the cab was on the shoulder of the road. The truck driver was being treated as walking wounded. It seemed like a relatively benign accident.
As we approached the curb side we realized that this was no ordinary call. It
The conversation always comes around to the topic of today’s firefighters and the next generation of firefighters. Some “more experienced” firefighters (notice I didn’t use the term older) share that they don’t understand the “kids” coming into the fire service today.
The veterans don’t think today’s recruits share the same values as those who are currently leading us. And they certainly don’t have the same appreciation for the traditions and discipline of the fire service. Community service is not in their blood as it is in ours. Or at least that’s their complaint.
The first question I