Right to Volunteer
This web page was created by the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Volunteer Advocacy Committee and is intended as an informational resource for volunteer emergency responders who find themselves under pressure to give up or reduce their involvement in volunteering. Hopefully, this page will also prove useful to members of the general public who are interested in learning more about issues that restrict the ability of individuals to volunteer for their local emergency response agency.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), there are close to 30,000 career firefighters across the country that are volunteering as firefighters – generally in their hometowns – when they are off-duty. We refer to these individuals as “two-hatters.” Unfortunately, many two-hatters face pressure from their union or employer to quit volunteering. In April 2009, the NVFC board voted to direct the Volunteer Advocacy Committee to initiate a public awareness campaign to inform the public and elected officials about the challenges facing two-hatters.
In establishing this web page, the Volunteer Advocacy Committee hopes to address not only two-hatter issues but any impediments to volunteering, regardless of the source. If you are a volunteer emergency responder and are being pressured to give up or reduce your volunteer activities, please let the NVFC’s Volunteer Advocacy Committee know about it. We also encourage you to contact us with suggestions about site content that you’d like to see and links to pertinent news stories. None of the information that you provide will be disseminated without your consent.