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Bill Greenwood discuss the leading challenges of many volunteer, paid on call and career fire departments have during these tough economic times... RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION. Bill's special guest is another NH based Firefighter, Tom Green, an active firefighter for more than 30 years and also is an advocate for protecting our brother and sister firefighters who protect our communities.
One of the major perils of the fire and EMS service today is recruitment and retention. Not that many years ago, it was not a problem to get new members into the service as a volunteer or a paid "on call" member. Today's emergency response -- from small towns to major urban areas - faces greater issues with the lack of availability of citizens to give back to their communities. While large metropolitan cities face cutbacks due to economy small departments face similar issues with people simply not volunteering their time or reduction of their response and/or training due to other obligations.
What are you doing to keep the members in and encourage them to stay? Some departments have gone to paying members per call, some reimburse for training, others purchase equipment for members or give them local memberships to keep them active. For many years departments have provided Length of Service Retention Tools (LOSAP). Some of these programs can provide a retirement at 65, provide or life insurance and disability programs for your members. Many departments have had programs like this in place for years, keeping members active, safe, educated and better yet... still running calls.
We will discuss these issues and many others that are at little or no cost to your department.
It's good to talk.