My department has 3 juniors and we don't know how to get kids interested in the fire service. 2 out of the 3 juniors don't show up. Do you have any idea's on how to get kids to want to join and stay interested?
If they don't want to be there on their own, you shouldn't force them. They will not be a positive part of the fire service. In my opinion that is a major problem facing many departments, poor morale. If they aren't naturally interested, making them be involved won't help.
r fire department started a little fire acadimy in the summer ware the public comes and let them try the hose the gear and the scba on and have them got threw little simlation what a fire fighter would go threw and we seem to find more people every year we at least get 2 or 3 a year
We just started a Jr. program our volunteer dept. We have two Jr.'s right now and what we decided to do was to work with the officers of the dept and they have to report to that officer all the time.
You can always hold a class at the fire dept and invite them to come and show them what they could be a part of. The main thing is be open and honest with them up front. If you have a school in your district will be a great start. Also the Boy Scouts has an explore program that might help with getting kids involved..
I know this is something thats hard to get some of the older members to adjust
to, but the potential is there if they are willing to make some concessions. A
department here had an issue with getting young members to join. They turned
Friday and Saturday nights into sleep over nights at the station. On Fridays
Saturday nights they all chipped in a few dollars, and made a dinner like a paid
house would. (set up, cooking, and clean up all inclusive) There was a
designated allotment of time for training set forth that anyone who stayed over
had to complete. (supervised by a officer which changed weekly) After this
time of training was acomplished, the jr's/explorers were free to play games,
talk, read, continue training etc. Its a great system that works well.
However, like all good things theres a few elements that didn't work with the
system. One of the newer batches of the explorers decided they were going to
raise hell at the firehouse. (rough housing and broke 2 picture frames and put
a small hole in the sheetrock.) This was caused when they had "friends" outside
of the fire company rules who stopped and visited. The system was only flawwed
due to a lack of supervision. With a great set of guidelines, and some
supervision by a competent officer or Chief Jr member (the highest trained and
longest ACTIVE Jr will be accountable for all the stay over folks) its a system
that can work for you as well. Even if you make it open for 2 weekends in a row
(no response to fire calls allowed) just to try and drum up interest I think you
could score a few folks that way.
Face it as a teenager what better way to be able to socialize with your friends
away from your parents but still in a controlled enviroment with supervision
than going to the firehouse. It will make them, and you a better person in the
end. I hope this helps, be well and stay safe out there.
Agree. If they aren't "naturally" interested then it is going to be a practice in futility. "screaming" at them about it won't get it...they'll tune out and eventually, drop out. Hell, I was no different when I was a teen...if I wasn't interested, I wasn't going to give it my best effort. Setting up a mentorship program where the Jrs are teamed with a seasoned veteran to "show him the ropes" works well. Have a set booklet of requirements to be met and signed off before achievement of a qualification or to show progress and proficiency. The Jr (protege) stays teamed with that Mentor until they meet all the required Jr quals and then stays in touch periodically afterward to maintain progress (quarterly review). Word of mouth as previous posters stated is a great method for drumming up interest and potential recruitment. Have those Jr. members that are excited about the job, talk it up! Other things to consider...maybe putting something up on the community "bulletin board" on your local cable access channel. Talk to school guidance counselors and see what they suggest. Do the High schools do any sort of job fair? Perhaps setting up a booth at one of those or at a county fair (or some other big/high visibility community event) might get you some visibility and pump up your Jr. recruitment efforts. How about high school sporting events? Does your squad or department provide ems coverage there? Set up a small table there. Put together an information/membership packet for those kinds of events and keep a few in the apparatus for those times when someone just happens to ask when you make a quick stop for coffee on the way back from a call! It happens. Add the same info and such via link on your company website and follow the trend of so many businesses these days...add the URL for your website to the back of your apparatus.
100% agree with you also. The word of mouth about the fun stay overs at the firehouse (while still achieving the greater goal of making a well rounded firefighter out of ya) will spread through the schools like wild fire. Pairing up the cadets with a senior mentor is only good if you have Senior Mentors who are MATURE, RESPONSIBLE, TRAINED and also PATIENT. Without these traits its going to be futile. If Joe Probie is the mentor, what can he do to train a young mind? Its going to take a bunch of dedication and hard work to make it happen, but you have the footprint to follow now.
I suggest possibly offering up to date and interesting members room(s) at the fire station. And offer more inhouse hands-on training that complete the requirements of "fire essentials" or "firefighter one" or whatever training requirements your company requires. If you are 16 years old, you have school, friends, possibly a job, and a whole bunch more going on in your life trying to fit in and be "cool" So if you have all of that stuff going on in your life at such a young age, why would you want to attend an 80 hour course on your free time, and have to sit in a classroom when you do enough of that at school. I am a Junior Firefighter at the age of 16 and I have all that stuff going on in my life, but I am willing to give up my freetime for training, and I am willing to sit through that 4 hour seminar that everybody wants to fall asleep through, but not everybody is, so I recomend trying to make things more interesting and hands on with less seminars and classroom based training. Thats about the best advice I can offer.
I agree and will dissagree. Doing all hands on training and minimizing classroom training is like buiding from a kit without reading the directions. Sometimes you get lucky and get it on the first shot, other times you have spare parts and a disfunctional piece. This is the same way with firefighters old and new. If you just jump in hands first with hands on without a base of classroom, you can get some firefighters who with natural ability can pick it right up, and others who are left behind because they didnt get throroughly trained.
My thing is that you DON'T want allot of JR'S at the station the less the better that is the less gear and equipment you have to give out and keep track of im a FIRE EXPLORER OTHER WORD FOR JR but in my post we have 5 people in the program and it runs just fine if you have allot of people it is just a bunch of people that wont take it seriously so just keep the three don't go over 20 though its a pain in the butt.
Sounds to me like you only have 1 junior ff. The other two are dead weight. Cut them loose and start basic training on the one remaining. I agree with the others. You have to want to do it. While we don't let ours respond to calls on the engine they can be usefull at a call. There is also lots of chores around the firehouse that we all had to do when we first started. And when thew engines get back they can help with getting everything ready for the next call. Most of our juniors started coming around because their fathers were on the department and they grew into the job. A few even knew more than some of us seasoned old farts. Work with the one and maybe they will grow to love the job just as we have.