In today's times it is hard to find quality people to volunteer fire department. This discussion is to provide a chat where we can discuss different recruitment ideas.

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There is a mindset with the older guys in my department that we shouldn't be chasing after people. This comes from the past where we have always had a waiting list to get on the department. In recent years it has been like pulling teeth to actively recruit. We have suggested using social media to post openings. Expanding our cadet program in the schools etc, meanwhile the same group of guys busts our asses at calls and around the station while the guys that sit back and tell us not to worry about are seen only when it's convenient and never for too long. On the bright side we voted on four new members in the past couple months bringing us up to 21 out of 24 members. I just find it very hard to sit back and not take advantage of the fact everyone is glued to a phone or computer screen. We could out there picking up recruits who would have never thought about doing anything fire related.

Who runs the recruiting now? Do you have committees that work on this? I'm paid and have never volunteered so I don't know how it works. As for the "old" guys (I'm one) you should work it around that it was their suggestion or idea and then run with it. Good luck

The whole make them think it was their idea works about 80% of the time. I can usually call my dad with something and then the next meeting or training Lt Lacey has a great idea lol I let him roll with it most of the time. Unfortunately recruitment is one thing nobody wants to budge on. As of right now there is no committee or board working on recruitment and retention because the core group of firefighters do a good job getting aparatus out and knowing what we are supposed to do when we get there.

Nicholas, There are a number of reasons way we don't get the recruits that we once did. You can go to firefighters worldwide and find my blog on there about recruitment and retention. These are my own opinion's.

If you look through the different post on here you will come up with ideas. Good luck.    

Sure when I signed up there seemed to be lots of people wanting to join. Now with younger people moving around, leaving the community its hard to get interest in the smaller departments. We have to market more, get out there and stir up interest. You have an event or something going on at the hall, invite the local paper. Put in an article about your appreciation or awards night. Don't wait until that big fire or fire prevention week to be featured. Hold events at public gatherings or festivals so people can try out the grear, spray some water or extinguisher. Challenge of the badges against the schools at sports (always a good way to find out you're getting old). Stay current in the community.

I live in a small town and we get any place from 1 to 4 new members a year. We are very lucky,blessed or whatever you want to call it. We are also very involved with our community which i'm sure has a big part of our success in recruitment. I don't buy the small town theory sorry. I will almost bet in most case's it's small town politics that is the problem why small department have a hard time with recruitment and retention.  

Charley as it sit right now the only active recruiting we have in my volunteer station at this point in time is just people that show up and show interest in volunteering. We are attempting to start some sort of recruiting process but need input from others who have seen or done it.

Thank you

We are a small town community and we average about the same with 1-4 new members a year but the retention is the problem right now. Being all volunteer seems to lose the interest of most younger firefighters.

I volunteer in a county in Georgia that is subscription based and every station is its own department with its own chief. I believe that if we had more community involvement from all the departments then we would all be better off. A few years back I can remember us hosting events and getting in some good PR but when the economy dropped so did many of those events and it might be about time to rekindle some of those old PR events.

The economy has very little to do with PR. There is a bunch of things that can be done in the community that don't cost anything more then time. Your department can help clean the sides of the roads or go in groups and help the elderly or wounded solider clean up their yards. If you have a school in your area you can do health and safety type fairs. There is all kinds of things that we can do that don't cost a thing; That puts us out in the public's sight. They see us doing things in the community that is making a difference above and beyond what is expected of us. Believe me they will notice and will want to be apart of what you are doing.  

Mr Hawkins,it's my honor to join this discussion.I am a professional fireman and also an USAR,both full time and paid by government.My question is,being a volunteer fireman,where to get paid?And if a voluneer fireman can not get paid,how to run his own family?The last question is,when a volunteer fireman is doing his own job(we assume he is a factory worker),and a fire happens,his boss tells him if he leaves in response of the fire,he lose his job and salary,should he go or just stay on the working position as told?I am looking forward to you reply.

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