Category Archives:

Creating a Clearinghouse

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Patience is some times not one of my better virtues. I’ve been kicking around the idea of creating an online clearinghouse of recruitment and retention resources for quite some time. Needless to say, it’s an area of the fire service that I’m quite absorbed in but I’ve always waited for someone else to create such a […]

It’s Time to get SAFER!

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Are you SAFER than you were last year?

That is, did you submit a grant application under the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response” program for recruitment and retention?

If you didn’t, you missed out on a great opportunity to better your fire department, or in our case, the entire volunteer fire service in our region.

Here’s the good news. You get another chance. DHS just announced that the application period for the 2009 SAFER grants opens November 16, 2009.

Listen Up: Recruitment Radio

This was the second installment of “Sound Magazine” that focused on volunteer recruitment and more are planned for the future.

It offered me the opportunity to talk about being a kid who “ran to the curb” whenever I heard a fire siren and all of the great things that come with being a volunteer firefighter.

Fortune Tellers

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Fortune Tellers:

In my last blog titled “Dig In.” I talked about the importance of story telling in the fire service and how it serves as a means of sharing experiences, traditions and values from generation to generation. In this article I try to tell a story, and in that story, I hope you can find a lesson to share for generations to come.

Almost every firefighter I meet speaks of how they always knew, from the time they

Albion FD Says: You Have to Want It!

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you-have-to-want-it-jd-patch-87x212“You Have to Want It!” is the message that Albion Volunteer Firefighters and EMTs are sending to their community in a new effort to challenge more citizens to become part of their local volunteer emergency response team.

Thanks to a four-year $134,500 grant from the US Department of Homeland Security specifically for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters, the all-volunteer fire department will have the funding to develop recruitment efforts and marketing materials with the help of Tiger Schmittendorf, who also helped them write and secure the grant.

“The reality is that firefighting isn’t for everyone, but volunteering can be. We offer flexible memberships for non-emergency personnel to join our Support Team,” says Rocky Sidari, the fire department’s deputy chief.

“Volunteering

Night at the Museum

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OK. I admit it.

It was a day at the museum but hey, nobody ever made a movie with the catchy title: “Day at the Museum.”

Regardless, we had a great day recently when we visited the Buffalo Fire Historical Museum on William St. near Ogden St. on the city’s eastern border with the Town of Cheektowaga.

I was there once before, a very long time ago, but had forgotten just how rich the museum is with placeholders of our heritage. And the best part was, I went with friends.

I dragged along my best friend Chief Denny Allen, my 21-year old niece Christina who is a new firefighter with neighboring Lake Erie Beach; and Kyle, the 9-year old son of another best friend – Chief John Latimore. I’ll tell you about

Conveying Tragedy

Buffalo News Photo-Tonawanda Fatal Fire

Buffalo News Photo-Tonawanda Fatal Fire

I consider myself a student of effective public and media relations. One of the most difficult messages a fire chief or public information officer must convey is that of a tragedy where, despite our best efforts, the results are fatal.

I often coach fire officers and public officials at incident scenes as how to best deliver difficult news. While I encourage them to focus on the role of the rescuers – not the victims, showing respect and concern for all those affected by the tragedy is very important as we speak publicly. This difficult and uncomfortable situation is one that any of us could be faced with at any time.

Doyle sets out on new adventure to recruit volunteers

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This billboard for Doyle Hose Co. #1 in Cheektowaga NY was designed by Tiger Schmittendorf

This billboard for Doyle Hose Co. #1 in Cheektowaga NY was designed by Tiger Schmittendorf

“Life’s an adventure.” That’s the message that Doyle 1 Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs and Rescuers are sending in a new effort to encourage more citizens to become part of emergency services in Cheektowaga, NY.

Their goal is to motivate their residents to “Start Your Next Adventure” at Doyle 1 Fire/Rescue/EMS. Armed with posters, billboards and other marketing materials

Power of the Pen

This article is one in a series of toolkits focusing on recruitment, retention, fire service marketing and leadership.

 

Here’s the deal: It’s past midnight, I’m 7+ hours past deadline and the piece I’m writing about another county-based recruitment clearinghouse example isn’t ready for publication.

Then I started thinking, this article is for the July issue. July means summertime. Everyone deserves a summer break. So, let’s take the summer off from talking about clearinghouses and discuss some tools you already have in your toolbox: The power of the pen.

Promoting Your Fire Department

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