Creating a Clearinghouse

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Patience is some times not one of my better virtues. I’ve been kicking around the idea of creating an online clearinghouse of recruitment and retention resources for quite some time. Needless to say, it’s an area of the fire service that I’m quite absorbed in but I’ve always waited for someone else to create such a […]

Reversal of Fortune?

HEADLINE: Johnson City to Explore Adding Volunteer Firefighters http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20091116/NEWS01/911160345/1112/Johnson-City-to-explore-adding-volunteer-firefighters Is it just me or are two worlds colliding here? At the same time many volunteer fire departments struggle to maintain their ranks, their career counterparts are being stripped to the bone in both manpower and operating budget by their community’s and our country’s fiscal crisis. […]

Sex shop Antalya

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Sex shop Antalya

A Veteran of Many Things

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I’m blessed to be the keeper of a three-ring binder that details my father’s entire military service history from his enlistment in World War II through his survival from the Korean War. Military campaigns, the boats he traveled overseas on, the camps he received his training at, the medals he received, and more — it’s all detailed in this book created by my first cousin Jim Schmittendorf, my father’s godson and a retired Lt. Colonel in the US Army.

It’s Time to get SAFER!

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Are you SAFER than you were last year?

That is, did you submit a grant application under the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response” program for recruitment and retention?

If you didn’t, you missed out on a great opportunity to better your fire department, or in our case, the entire volunteer fire service in our region.

Here’s the good news. You get another chance. DHS just announced that the application period for the 2009 SAFER grants opens November 16, 2009.

Is this our best approach?

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Unfortunately, I think it follows a growing pattern of articles and news pieces that focus on the problems — and not the solutions to our recruitment and retention challenges.

While we certainly need to identify and acknowledge what the challenges are, I don’t think that promoting them, making a news story out of them — is our best approach to motivating people to help us overcome our staffing issues by volunteering. Do you?

Listen Up: Recruitment Radio

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.

Make It Personal

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The following article is a reprint from the June-2009 edition of Fire-Rescue magazine. It is also a companion piece to my blog titled: Clean the Litterbox.

I recently attended a seminar on preparation for line-of-duty deaths and firefighter funerals. If you’ve ever read one of my blogs here or at FirefighterNation.com, you know that I have very strong feelings about firefighter deaths.

But, for the first time, the subject really hit home with me. While it’s important to plan that stuff, if we really think about it, doesn’t the need for proper funeral planning only further acknowledge our acceptance of failure in protecting our own from the risks we face?

Too often we focus more time, energy and attention on those types of activities instead of the things

Dig In.

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ToolkitDig in.

“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

Fortune Tellers

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Fortune Tellers:

In my last blog titled “Dig In.” I talked about the importance of story telling in the fire service and how it serves as a means of sharing experiences, traditions and values from generation to generation. In this article I try to tell a story, and in that story, I hope you can find a lesson to share for generations to come.

Almost every firefighter I meet speaks of how they always knew, from the time they

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