Department Spotlight: Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Department
Department Name: Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Department
Department Location: Canonsburg, PA
Department Type: Volunteer
Number of Active Volunteers: 29
Community Type: Suburban
What challenges have you experienced in terms of recruiting new members to your department?
Being an older community is one of the issues, but also family size has caused a lack of available individuals. Plus we have found younger families have both the husband and wife working, leaving little time to volunteer.
What methods have proved successful in recruiting new volunteers?
We have done several things that have added six new members in one year and have others inquiring. We offer a very good benefits package that includes LOSAP (length of service award program), pay-per-call, additional 24/7 not-on-the-job insurance coverage, off-the-job critical illness coverage, and the obvious on-duty coverages. As part of the 24/7 accident and critical illness insurance program, we offer the option of giving $3,000 worth of college tuition credits annually for members’ children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews as long as they stay an active member.
What has your department done to reach all demographics in the community?
We had a great poster and table tent program that really didn’t draw much. We had displays at local community events that at least got us talking to folks, and hearing about the benefits drew them in. We also canvased the areas in town where younger couples lived, and that also drew some attention.
How does your department support the retention of volunteers?
As described earlier, we have a very aggressive benefits program, and the icing on the cake was the college tuition benefit.