NVFC Recruitment & Retention Experience


Quick links: Event OverviewContinuing Education Units (CEUs)Travel InformationTravel StipendCall for PresentationsSponsorshipQuestions?


As the nation has continued to adapt to the many unprecedented changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NVFC has been actively considering national, state, and local social distancing and travel advisement, as well as the potential economic impact on individual attendees. At this time, we plan to host the NVFC Recruitment & Retention Experience on September 17-18, 2021, in-person in Cleveland, OH, with social distancing measures in place. Please check this web site for updates as they are available.

2021 NVFC Recruitment & Retention Experience | Cleveland, Ohio


WHEN: Friday, September 17, through Saturday, September 18, 2021

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Cleveland At The Arcade, 420 Superior Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44114

PURPOSE: The NVFC Recruitment and Retention (R&R) Experience is a new interactive education and networking conference that will bring together fire and EMS personnel from across the country to participate in valuable classroom training and idea exchange relating to volunteer emergency service staffing issues.

NETWORKING SOCIAL: The NVFC R&R Experience features an evening networking social on Friday, September 17 – a chance to relax and connect with your colleagues. The social includes refreshments and a mini-expo. Sponsorships are available!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: The conference is open to all first responders nationwide and will be targeted toward department leadership and recruitment officers.  Attendance is limited.

AGENDA: Click here to view the agenda. Last updated 7/23/21

REGISTER: Register now. The event fee is $129 and covers two days of training and most meals. Attendance is limited! Stipends available – see below for more information.

^Back to top


Stay tuned for information on CEUs.

^Back to top


The R&R Experience will be held at the historic Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade. Located in a landmark building constructed in 1890, Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade provides a historic hotel experience with convenient access to downtown Cleveland. Stay steps from the vibrant East 4th Street Entertainment District and a 10-minute walk from all major sporting and entertainment venues.

The NVFC has secured a room block at the conference hotel at the special rate of $139/night for single/double occupancy, $164.00 for triples, and $189.00 for quad rooms. To make your reservation, use group code G-NVFF:

  • Online
  • By phone at 216-575-1234

Book by August 25, 2021. Please note, overnight parking at the conference hotel is $34/night. There are many public lots at a lower rate available within short walking distance.

As of July 20, the Hyatt Regency is sold out on the night of Friday, September 17. If you would like to be notified of any cancellations, please contact Rachel Buczynski, conference planner, at rachel@nvfc.org. Suggested nearby hotels are:

Cleveland, OH, has a dynamic walkable downtown with sports stadiums, museums, restaurants, and waterfront activities. It is served by Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CHE). Find information on transportation to/from the airport here.

^Back to top


The NVFC is pleased to offer stipends to help offset the travel costs related to the Recruitment & Retention (R&R) Experience. Each individual requesting a stipend must apply separately. Apply now.

2021 NVFC R&R Experience Travel Stipends provide $750 per person for reimbursement of travel and conference expenses, including lodging at the conference hotel rate, round-trip airfare, cab/shuttle fare, and/or mileage, and the registration fee. Please note that attendees will be responsible for any additional expenses.

To apply, provide the requested information on this form. Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis. Please note, limited stipends are available! Submit early to ensure you have the opportunity to receive one. Deadlines are as follows:

  • Received by June 1 – Notifications by June 25
  • Received by July 1 – Notifications by July 20
  • Received by August 1 – Notifications by August 20 (if stipends remain)


  • Applicants must be a volunteer department leader or R&R officer/coordinator.
  • You or your department must be a current member of the NVFC. Membership options and benefits can be found at www.nvfc.org/join.
  • Applicants must live more than 60 miles from Cleveland.
  • Applicants are required to submit a letter of recommendation from a department or city leader.
  • A maximum of two representatives per department can receive reimbursement. (Please note that scholarships are selected on an individual basis; not by department.)
  • Only one individual per household will be considered.
  • Applicants must register for the conference at the rate of $129 to secure their spot.

Questions? Contact Rachel Buczynski, conference planner, at rachel@nvfc.org or 202-887-5700.

^Back to top


The application period for the Call for Presentations is now closed.

The NVFC is accepting proposals from qualified instructors and speakers for presentations to educate first responders about critical issues in recruitment and retention in the fire and emergency services.

The 2021 NVFC R&R Experience theme is A Forum for the Future. The new R&R-focused event will be an opportunity for fire and EMS personnel from across the country to participate in valuable classroom training as well as exchange ideas and best practices with their peers. The conference is open to all first responders nationwide but will be targeted toward department leadership and recruitment officers. Eight breakout sessions will be offered; each should be 90 minutes in length.

Examples of relevant presentation topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Diversity & inclusion
  • Working intergenerationally
  • Work-life balance
  • Marketing your department
  • Finding funding
  • Reputation management
  • Department culture
  • Youth development
  • Supporting your volunteers

A peer review team will evaluate all presentation proposals. Selections will be made based on quality, relevance, focus, practical application, and the presenter’s experience and credentials. Selected presenters will be notified by February 28.

The NVFC will cover travel expenses and provide a stipend for selected presenters. Teaching teams are welcome to apply, but only one instructor per course can receive travel reimbursement/stipend. Please note, while organizations and companies are welcome to apply to share their subject matter expertise, all courses must be educational in nature.

^Back to top


Sponsorship opportunities are available for an evening reception, meals, technology, and more! Click here for details. To learn more, please contact Meg Goldberg, NVFC engagement manager, at meg@nvfc.org or 202-887-5700 x117. Sponsoring the NVFC Training Summit provides a unique opportunity to be in front of, and to highlight your brand and what you do to firefighters, EMTs, and rescue personnel from across the United States. It shows your commitment and support to the industry and NVFC.

Thank you to our current sponsors:

Active 911 provides effective and affordable emergency response coordination to your team. We integrate with CADs to enhance your mission-critical systems to provide more usable information on each call. Get information from dispatch in all the ways you need. From maps and directions to equipment and personnel positioning, we’ve got heroes covered. Plus, our services don’t stop there. We are continually adding products, including Family SMS, Webview, and Staffing (coming soon). See how we can help you at Active911.com.
California Casualtyinsurance provides exclusive auto and home protection for firefighters, educators, peace officers, and nurses in 44 states. Custom coverage and unique discounts to each profession explains why California Casualty customers are so loyal – and why the company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014. NVFC Members exclusive: Click Here and Chat online to get a $25 Target Gift card when you get an Auto Quote. Learn more about California Casualty and find answers to common insurance coverage questions here.
First Arriving is the leading marketing company powering success for volunteer fire, rescue, and EMS departments, businesses, associations, and nonprofits. Led by lifelong volunteer firefighters, First Arriving is your partner to ensure your leadership and members have the tools, resources, and services needed to grow and be a successful, dynamic organization. Our solutions include web sites, fundraising, recruitment marketing and member progression management, digital dashboards, learning management, and much more. https://www.firstarriving.com/
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance, and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings, and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. In 2012 Lincoln Financial Group’s Retirement Plan Services business announced the introduction of a new National LOSAP HEROPLUSSM Program. This first of its kind Length of Service Award Program was designed for individual Fire and Emergency Services departments to help recruit, retain, and reward dedicated volunteers with a program that will help boost their retirement readiness. The National LOSAP HEROPLUSSM offers sponsors ongoing program support in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and is customizable at the local level to meet the specific needs of the plan sponsor. For more information about the HEROPLUS Program please visit www.heroplusprogram.com.

Verizon Wireless powers the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network, covering more than 2.5 million square miles and 98% of Americans, representing a 450,000 square mile coverage advantage over the nearest competitor. We understand the important role first responders have in protecting and serving our communities and have been partners with this community for decades. Volunteer fire fighters, along with other first responders, have access to wireless discounts and can request priority access. You can count on our network when you need it most. Learn more at VerizonWireless.com/firstresponders.

^Back to top


Contact Rachel Buczynski, conference planner, at Rachel@nvfc.org or 202-887-5700. Read about the NVFC’s health & safety conference, the NVFC Training Summit, at www.nvfc.org/summit.

^Back to top