Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Solutions: A Volunteer Voices Live Discussion

On May 25, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) hosted its second “Volunteer Voices Live: Face-to-Face Virtual Connections,” an interactive discussion format that takes a conversation happening in the NVFC’s Volunteer Voices online community and facilitates a live discussion on the topic via Zoom. The topic of this discussion was recruitment and retention strategies for the volunteer fire service. 

The discussion was facilitated by Ken Brown, NVFC director from Virginia, and Jason Decremer, PhD, a member of the Connecticut West Incident Management Team in the Planning and Operations Section. The session was not recorded in order to provide a space where people can talk respectfully but freely. 

The conversation lasted about an hour and involved participants sharing volunteer recruitment and retention challenges, such as the falling number of volunteers and lack of public interest in volunteering, and successes, including making personal connections with prospective volunteers, collaborating with community organizations, and establishing mentor programs. The goal was to provide participants with at least one new recruitment or retention strategy to implement in their department.

NVFC members can read more detailed notes from the discussion in the Volunteer Voices online community. Not a member? Join now for only $21 per year to access Volunteer Voices and other NVFC member benefits.

More Volunteer Voices Live events are planned for 2022. These discussions are open to all members of the fire and emergency services as a place to share ideas, learn from each other, and have friendly and respectful face-to-face discussions. Stay tuned to the NVFC’s web site and Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more information.