An article recently posted to FirefighterNation.com outlines the challenges faced by volunteer fire departments in Pennsylvania in recruiting and retaining their members. Although these types of articles are becoming all too frequent, this one in particular is better than most in that it focuses on the positives of being a volunteer firefighter — not all the negatives. I’ve cited many examples of what not to say if you’re actually looking to solve your R&R challenges in a previous post titled “Is this our best approach?” Too often, it seems that we hand a prospective candidate all of the reasons and excuses why they wouldn’t join on a silver platter.
I have to tip my helmet to the volunteer fire service in Pennsylvania who is no stranger to these challenges — or to innovative solutions to those challenges. I’ve previously mentioned them in “PA VFDs Dip Into Fountain of Youth” for potential solutions as well as I’ve applauded their efforts in the successful recruitment campaign: “Roll with It!” — the sexiest thing to come to volunteer recruitment I’ve ever seen. It rivals the GoArmy.com and NationalGuard.com campaigns.