Busting Through Recruitment & Retention Challenges, Developing YOUR Game Plan!

4 Hour Program

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.


Dr Candice McDonald

Dr. Candice McDonald serves a firefighter/public information officer with the Sebring Fire Department in Ohio. She works for NASA in the Office of Protective Services as a physical security specialist. She is a member of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association Reputation Management Committee and ResponderSafety.com outreach team. She is a trustee of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services and member of the FDIC/Fire Engineering Advisory Board. She has served as the appointed Fire Corps State Advocate for Ohio and in other capacities for the National Volunteer Fire Council since 2009.

She holds a doctor of business administration with a specialty in homeland security, a master’s in organizational leadership, a bachelor’s in organizational management, and associate’s in health and human services. She is a contributing author to numerous publications and has traveled the country for the past twenty years empowering individuals and organizations.