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?
I think alot of interest from the 14-17 year old crowd comes from either there parents involvement in a Department or from word of mouth. Absolute STRICT and appropropriate guidelines need to be set WITH the parent/guardian and potential member sitting in front of the membership committee and making the commitment. Gaining parental support is very important. Also, not only does the youth firefighter need to make the commitment, the DEPARTMENT need to make the commitment to the youth firefighter in return. Ive seen alot of kids come aboard with raw interest and talent, only to get left behind or discouraged either by Department politics or lack of personel to correctly teach them what they came in for in the first place.
As a former Jr. Fire fighter, the main downside to the program was how we were treated. Little attention was given, and training was done mostly on my own, with a few paid guys. My motivation for attending decreased steadily, and eventually I Lost interest. How much time/energy do you invest in them? Do you appreciate there efforts? Make a goal of building them into strong leaders. Sometimes stepping out of "firefighter" training mode, and going into just team building excercises that are fun and goal oriented builds there confidence and motivation to attend. For me, as a junior, being a firefighter stopped being fun, dont let that happen!
I would suggest working through a local high school to give credit for a junior firefighter program. Thats what I did when I was 17, and fell in love with the service. This program gives incentive to join, while only recruiting interested kids. Also, a explorer program that involves signoffs, explorer officers, and real goals is always effective.
Hey Brad,,, well said and thanks for speaking up. His comments were EXACTLY my point. To everyone with Junior programs,,, Brads comment is direct from the source. ARE WE LISTENING?????????????????????????
As a sidenote and as an Explorer Advisor,,, I believe these "students" are not only an asset but our future in this industry. Lets work on what we need to do to get it right!
yes they do in the dept i was in iwas lucky to have a very helpful core of officers and line willing to show me the ropes but remember to that not all of the explorers are gonna get the good treatment or ANY recognition please explain what an explorer is because i went in straight fireman no exploerer status they also needto remember that they like us need to earn their place jake
I would like to reply to your Jr. fireman issue. My department has had jr.s and has had them for around 25 years. I was one of the first and stuck with it and look at me know. We need to educate or Jr's that this is a real life issue not some day care that there parents drop them off. They need to treated as any other proby, cause they are the future of our departments and they need to held accountable for their actions. I think they need to have there own night to train with just the jr's and jr's only. You need to also have a chain of command for them with there own officers. It all starts with the fireman, how bad do we what to recruit our up coming fireman.
We also need to make sure they are getting the same training ideas that the fireman are getting (rit,mayday,hazmat,ff 1 & ff 2 plus 1oo % hands on ).
Get the juniors you have out there, let them be seen. I'm sure you do already but get more involved with the community if you can. You may not be able to get any juniors from this generation but 1 or 2 generations down the road you will be set. Set up things for kids, like going to schools and bring the trucks. Leave your trucks out on the apron as often as you possibly can, its like free advertising. The younger kids love the firetrucks, the older kids are harder to get to come around you just have to show them how friggin cool the job is so let the other juniors do that for them, when out on calls or up at the station cleaning up or just sitting around on the front bumpers of the rigs.
We have juniors show up at our station, we make them work right beside us at the station and then they are asigned a chapter out of IFSTA to read and then take a test, we then do a hands on training after. It is just like fire school without the fire. We do let them ride out with us on calls they help pick up fire scene and they watch on medical calls, they first have to sign a release form along with their parent.
i am a junior firefighter too and our company is in the same situation i show up all the time and the other 2 dont often but i think you can hold drills for the public like nothing dangerouse but just something to get them to see what the work is like , i never had that problem i always new i wanted to be in the fire service b/c it runs in the family so i knew what it was like but not everyone does
you could go to schools and show them what juniors do, all the equipment we have like gear. also do a drill. for example a motor vehicle accident roll over and show the kids you in action. that might get them interested.