The volunteer fire service is experiencing its biggest challenge to date with volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention. With today’s era of competing demands for the volunteer / potential volunteer firefighter, the question becomes, “What strategies are volunteer fire departments using to successfully recruit and retain volunteer firefighters?” This workshop is based on a three-year doctoral study on firefighter retention and will offer participants research-based / proven strategies to reduce turnover and increase recruitment among all generations of volunteers. These strategies are not based on costly recruitment campaigns and incentives but offer practical professional applications that can be easily deployed.
This workshop will offer both classroom and hands-on training for students in drafting a recruitment plan and developing internal programs to increase retention rates. Students attending this workshop will learn strategies to help overcome the biggest barriers to retention and recruitment in the fire service. Students will leave the session with easy to implement strategies. The workshop will start with a review of research findings on the key factors contributing to recruitment and retention issues and will offer a review of research-based strategies needed to increase firefighter recruitment and retention. Once the review is complete, students will participate in numerous hands-on activities surrounding each strategy that will empower them to develop solutions custom to their departments. Students will leave with the workshop with strategies designed to fit their specific department needs.