Fire Departments in California, New Hampshire Struggle for Volunteers; Symptom of Nationwide Trend

A recent article in the Press Democrat, a newspaper based in Santa Rosa, CA, discussed the challenges that volunteer fire departments in Sonoma County, CA, are facing recruiting and retaining personnel. Another article in the Union Leader, a Manchester, NH-based paper, talks about similar issues that fire departments in that part of the country are experiencing.
The difficulties cited in these articles, as well as the steps that local communities and departments in California and New Hampshire are taking to boost recruitment and retention, are occurring all across the country. According to the most recently available statistics published by National Fire Protection Association, the number of volunteer firefighters nationwide declined by 59,000 (more than seven percent) between 2008 and 2010.
Visit the NVFC’s Legislative Priorities webpage to learn about bills currently pending before Congress that would help local communities and emergency response agencies to recruit and retain volunteer personnel.