Recruitment and Retention
Well, I did find out that someone does read my article as I must admit I did miss getting one in last month and I was questioned by a few of the local volunteer firefighters about it. This time I am getting it in a week before deadline to make sure it’s there and on time!!!!
While visiting with one of them local volunteer firefighters he mentioned something to me that he is about ready to “hang up” his fire helmet and let the younger guys take over…. You know this is not the first time I have heard this from one of, what I call, old friends in the volunteer fire service over the last several years. As a matter of fact you can ask some of the members of my own department and they can tell you they probably have heard it from me especially most recently the last time I switched out my bottle on my SCBA a few weeks ago as I went back into the fire at our local assisted living facility in Wymore.
I have always been one to say that there should be room for everyone on your department that is and has been willing to give the time volunteering over the last, who knows how many, years for your department and mostly for your community. At one time they were the young guys. I hope the “older” firefighters on your departments, if they do decide to “hang up” that fire helmet, are not getting pushed out by the young guys. There should always be a place for them in your departments.
We have been very fortunate over the years on our department to have members with 50 plus years of service and one of our members (who a lot of you know) this summer who will have his 50 years on the department, still plays a big part of our day to day activities and operation. These members can run errands for the Chief, help with traffic, bring water/food to calls, mentor new members, help with fire prevention (I put that in for Rhonda and in memory of Bob T.), work with your recruitment and retention program, and the list can go on.
Remember we don’t have the people we used to beating down the doors to join our departments either. Take a minute and go to the NSVFA web page. Go to the “Education & Events” tab and under that you will find “Recruiting and Retention Tools” then finally what I want you to look at is the “Department Self Evaluation” check list. Go over this with your Officers or even your whole department and see where you stand. We can always find areas within the department to make improvements.
Fire School information is out. Pick out your classes, go on line, and get signed up. Classes will fill up fast so don’t hesitate. Battle Creek is busy planning for conference coming in October in Norfolk. Get your rooms reserved and plan on attending this year. We would love to see a full house! As always be safe and let us know if the NSVFA E-Board can help your department in anyway.