It was a cold winter day in Wisconsin, and the coming winter weather was enough to make even the saltiest veterans of our area’s fire service consider the special calls and challenges that winter brings. Slippery roads bring car accidents on the Interstate, cold weather creates more risk for structure fires, chimney fires, firefighter rehab and cold weather safety concerns and the holidays create dynamic EMS calls, with more emotional families, and a variety of other challenges for our…Continue
Whenever I have an opportunity to visit another area, whether on vacation or traveling for other reasons, I always enjoy meeting other firefighters. I’ve learned so many things from visiting fire stations in other parts of the state and country, and I’ve also met a lot of great people. Often, as a part of the first few minutes of conversation, the inevitable question comes up: “Are you a career firefighter, or a volunteer?”
Being the passionate volunteer that I am, I…Continue
Through the years, I’ve participated in numerous interviews with candidates that have applied for membership in our department. Recently, I started thinking about the challenges of our proud volunteer fire service, and how special of a person it takes to become a professional volunteer firefighter. In a world where there are many different kinds of people, and many different personalities and priorities, these people give their time and energy to make their communities…Continue
In studies about volunteer recruitment and retention, it has been mentioned that some firefighters reach a plateau after several years of service, where they “burn out”. We lose some of these valuable volunteers to other interests, and all of their fire service training walks out the door with them. This leaves us with a double impact: we lose a trained firefighter, and we also lose an experienced and participative member of our group.
As members of the fire service at all ranks…