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Recruiting volunteer FF/EMS

40 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

So here is my dilemma, I work in a urban area with transporting FD/ALS, yet I live in the sticks and volunteer at my VERY small local FD, first responder only. We need people, really badly, like about 25% of the calls nobody is responding to because we don't have anyone around (down to about 6 active people all with full time jobs and kids). And since I was voluntold to be the EMS director I have been wracking my undersized brain on how to recruit a bunch of farmers and rural folks to join the Fire Department. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted · Report post

How about a recruiting campaign? You can get funding to pay for the classes anyone would need. Advertising might help as well. I really have no other ideas for ya. Good luck!

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Posted · Report post

Do these folks pay taxes? Perhaps a tax rebate for volunteers would help.

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Posted · Report post

They do pay property taxes, they are quite reasonable, but that is an intriguing idea, it would certainly attract the type of people we are looking for, people who have roots in the community and property to protect.

And we have placed ads in the local newspaper and posted help wanted signs on the department door, to no avail. I have been thinking about making a recruitment poster, but I am just a dumb paramedic, and I'm fairly certain it would end up looking like a kids art project. I have someone who I know that is a graphic designer, but I don't know what angle to use, or what would be catchy content.

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Posted · Report post

What if you start with a theme for your recruiting campaign "Our Families Our Town, Lets Protect Them"

Is there free training and uniforms/supplies? What are some of the bennies your dept has to offer? How simple and convenient would it be to work in your dept? One big thing I see is that people are very busy, so they see this as another demand on their time.

just a couple thoughts.

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Posted · Report post

With the tax rebate idea I was thinking like a 1% reduction for every meeting attended by the volunteer. If you have monthly meetings with the summer off, that's a 10% reduction/rebate. Additionally our vollies get paid $25.00 for a call out.

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Posted · Report post

Any old buildings no one minds a control burn, for a recruiting event? This is sort of a branch off Dennis' post "Our Families Our Town, Lets Protect Them". Show them how devastating a fire really is, and the damages it does. More people they have, more people they can protect and help the community. Or a cheaper, and a safer route is get an old car from the junk yard and make a little MVA skit that gets people going. Plus a MVA skit if you have enough a big of space at your fire station you can have it their and let the new people walk around it and check it out. They do it once a year at a lot of high schools around my area to help promote no texting, drinking, and or talking on the phone while driving. If you decide for something like that add free snacks to the flyer or advertisements, brings out a lot of people, trust me. Also try to get decent benefits to come to the calls, they aren't just going to come at 3am for a working structure when you have to wake up at 6am for no reason and they won't want to leave work either, if they need the money.

Best of luck with it, their is always not enough people out there that are willing to do this sort of stuff.

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Posted · Report post

You are not alone, New Zed has a significant challenge with the recruitment (and to a lesser degree, retention) of Volunteer Ambulance Officers. Being a VAO is at the more extreme end of the scale; it takes almost a year to do the Diploma and then there are bi-weekly CCE sessions and mandatory minimum of 2 shifts per month (12 hours) which is a bit different than doling out soup for the Salvos for a couple hours a week or whatever.

A significant part of the recruitment campaign here is showing prospective volunteers what the benefits are for them including the non tangible (helping the community, good feeling, touchy wanky shit like that) and the tangible including the National Diploma in Ambulance Practice (the Technician qualification), free uniform, reasonable expenses reimbursed etc

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I don't like the idea of a controlled burn, in fact, it's illegal here. A burn can't happen unless all toxic substances are remove from the building, such as wiring, asphalt shingles, oil based painted surfaces, etc. If I were to see a Fire Dept. conducting such a burn here I would report them, likely someone there would not appreciate it either.

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Posted · Report post

The MVA skit option still stands :)

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