Recruitment and retention for volunteer departments

General volunteer firefighting discussion.
User avatar
Halligan71
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Recruitment and retention for volunteer departments

Postby Halligan71 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:12 pm

After some searching and reading here I have not found much in the way of recruitment or staff retention strategies for volunteer departments here. My department and I'm certain that others as well are in dire need of capable recruits. How about posting some ideas that worked and even the ones that didn't?

User avatar
hmckay91
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby hmckay91 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:54 am

Firstly,

Check out http://www.albertavolunteerfirefighters.ca/ and watch the video. Other provincial chiefs associations are on board and there are hints this initiative may spread nationaly.

Alberta has also produced a recrutiment and retention tool kit that is availabe here http://www.afca.ab.ca/news/1091-volunte ... on-toolkit

Lastly, I will rehash an old answer of my own
Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to this issue that most volunteer emergency services encounter periodically. I highly recommend starting with a copy of "Retention and Recruitment for the Volunteer Emergency Services" (I have a paper copy of the first edition), free from the USFA (even being from Canada )

The results are sometimes obvious and sometimes surprising in certain respects. A few suggestions from personal experience are:
•Review/change your advertising plan (word of mouth still works but needs to be augmented with others);
•Expand/change your target audience (in some small towns they targeted the stay at home spouses while their partners are out on the remote work sites);
•Start a cadet program and get the high school onboard (to offer credits to the students who participate, and they often continue on after graduation);
•Consider making a recruit class (so that a bunch of recruits can learn/bond/share their experiences together without individually battling the perception/reality of the "old boys club")
•Consider increasing your entrance requirements (seems counter-intuitive I know, but people like to belong to SELECT/ELITE groups and not one that requires a "pulse and a pager")
The key is to pick and choose those items that may work in your community. Google +"retention and recruitment" +fire +emergency +services for even more information.

The following is a good resource
http://www.volunteerfd.org/recruitment/

This one looks like a promising resource as well
http://www.ofm.gov.on.ca/english/firepr ... efault.asp
There's never time to do it right but always time to do it over.

User avatar
hmckay91
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby hmckay91 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:03 am

There are some good ideas in this thread.

http://www.firehall.com/forum/showthrea ... ecruitment

And another one with a few nuggets

http://www.firehall.com/forum/showthrea ... ecruitment
There's never time to do it right but always time to do it over.

Pickupman
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Pickupman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:39 pm

Since we have increased demands on our recruits in the first year we have been getting more sticking around.

We now participate in Jtag which is a joint recruit training over 6 months that gets them to ff1. This requires a lot of time invested. It seems that people are more willing to stick around after they have something invested.

User avatar
Roree403
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Roree403 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:30 pm

1.Create a great atmosphere and organization
2.Treat your employees with respect
3.Appoint good competant leaders who deserve to be there, not just FF's who were there longest.
4.Treat everyone by the same standard
5.Push, challenge and improve your FF's
6.Train your officers to lead from the front and by example.

As for recruitment, if you create a top notch organization, "build it and they will come"
"Amateurs built the Arc but professionals built the Titanic"


"Are we moving too far ahead, or are you falling too far behind"
Roree403


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests