The City of Tonawanda Fire Department’s (Erie County NY) Explorer Post’s motto is “Our Best Today for a Better Tomorrow.” Their efforts have not gone unnoticed as they were recently identified as winners of a National Junior Firefighter Grant sponsored by Baskin-Robbins as announced by the National Volunteer Fire Council. The National Volunteer Fire Council […]
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 […]
HEADLINE: Johnson City to Explore Adding Volunteer Firefighters http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20091116/NEWS01/911160345/1112/Johnson-City-to-explore-adding-volunteer-firefighters Is it just me or are two worlds colliding here? At the same time many volunteer fire departments struggle to maintain their ranks, their career counterparts are being stripped to the bone in both manpower and operating budget by their community’s and our country’s fiscal crisis. […]
I’m blessed to be the keeper of a three-ring binder that details my father’s entire military service history from his enlistment in World War II through his survival from the Korean War. Military campaigns, the boats he traveled overseas on, the camps he received his training at, the medals he received, and more — it’s all detailed in this book created by my first cousin Jim Schmittendorf, my father’s godson and a retired Lt. Colonel in the US Army.
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.
Unfortunately, I think it follows a growing pattern of articles and news pieces that focus on the problems — and not the solutions to our recruitment and retention challenges.
While we certainly need to identify and acknowledge what the challenges are, I don’t think that promoting them, making a news story out of them — is our best approach to motivating people to help us overcome our staffing issues by volunteering. Do you?
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.
“Early on in my fire service career, we responded to a report of a tractor-trailer rolled over on a nearby state highway. We arrived on scene and found a truck lying on its passenger side. The wheels were facing the roadway and the top of the cab was on the shoulder of the road. The truck driver was being treated as walking wounded. It seemed like a relatively benign accident.
As we approached the curb side we realized that this was no ordinary call. It