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Introduction to Fire Corps. Fire Corps Mission. To utilize community members in non-emergency roles to supplement fire/EMS departments Allows first responders more time to focus on training and emergency response Departments able to expand services

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Introduction to Fire Corps

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Fire Corps Mission

  • To utilize community members in non-emergency roles to supplement fire/EMS departments
    • Allows first responders more time to focus on training and emergency response
    • Departments able to expand services
    • Community members gain understanding of fire/EMS services and are better prepared in emergency situations

Photo courtesy of Dayna Hilton, Johnson County RFD#1 (AR)


What is Fire Corps?

  • Launched December 2004 at the White House
  • Fire Corps National Advisory Committee (NAC)
    • Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)
    • Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA)
    • International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
    • International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF)
    • International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
    • International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
    • International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services (iWomen)
    • International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA)
  • Managed by the NVFC
  • Promotes a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility
  • International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI)
  • National Association of Hispanic Firefighters (NAHF)
  • National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
  • North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD)
  • Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS)

What is Citizen Corps?

  • Goal is to unite communities and prepare the nation for any unexpected situation
  • Role of Citizen Corps Councils
    • Generate awareness
    • Promote Citizen Corps programs locally
    • Work together with local fire/EMS departments
  • Visit for more information

Making Communities Safer…

  • 63% of departments with Fire Corps programs utilize citizens for fire prevention efforts and fire & life safety education

Photo courtesy of Dayna Hilton, Johnson County RFD#1 (AR)



  • 57% have increased support from the community
  • Others have noted increased support from state and local officials

“We have a growing Hispanic community here in Charlottesville and it's important for our firefighters to become more familiar with the Hispanic culture and language so that they can better serve those citizens.”- Linda Seaman, Charlottesville Fire Corps Director (VA)

Photo courtesy of Charlottesville Fire Corps (VA)


And Better Prepared…

  • 41% have more time to train and respond to emergencies
  • 68% use citizens for special projects such as hurricane relief, preparedness, and pre-planning

“We get constant comments from firefighters on how great it is to have a support program. Anytime we can use a civilian member rather than a fire department member, it helps.”

- Chief James Heenan, Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District (CO)

Photo courtesy of Dayna Hilton, Johnson County RFD#1 (AR)


Helping Fire/EMS Achieve More

  • Fire prevention/life safety education
  • Special projects
  • Fundraising/grant-writing
  • Assist in rebuilding/cleanup after natural disasters or other catastrophes
  • Rehab/canteen
  • Chaplain services
  • And more

Photo courtesy of Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department (VA)


Johnson County RFD #1 (AR)

  • Comprised of members from local University
  • Donated over 5,000 hours since March 2005
  • Participate in 300 hours of fire safety training annually

Photo courtesy of Dayna Hilton, Johnson County RFD#1 (AR)


Fire Corps of Utah

  • State taking lead to create a state-wide Fire Corps program to reach 2.5 million people
  • Focused on Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) safety and education
  • A partnership between Fire Corps of Utah and Community Fire Councils

Tomball Fire Department (TX)

  • Retired engineers
  • Serving community as pre-plan coordinators
  • Completed 100 commercial building pre-plans
  • Improves safety of emergency responders

Photo courtesy of Tomball Fire Department (TX)


Macomb Township Fire Corps (MI)

  • Assist department with fire safety education and promotion
  • Assist with hose testing and in-station maintenance
  • Evaluate, inspect, and install smoke alarms in residential homes
  • Instruct residents in the use of fire extinguishers using BullEx Fire Extinguisher Training System
  • Assembled and distribute “After a Fire” kit to fire victims and families
  • Teach CPR to public
  • Participate in Adopt-a-Road Program
  • Created a Rehab Response Team to set up and run rehab at emergency scenes and large training events

Photo courtesy of Macomb Township Fire Department (MI)


How Can We Help

  • number one source for information about the program
  • Get access to:
    • FAQs
    • Implementation tools
    • Marketing materials
    • E-update and other news
    • Program database
    • Networking opportunities
    • Program profiles and highlights

Technical Support

  • Fire Corps national office staff is available to:
    • Answer questions
    • Provide resources
    • Support your program
  • Fire Corps State Advocate Program
    • Create awareness of Fire Corps and its mission, opportunities, and benefits within the state
    • Serve as the point-of-contact for registered and potential programs
    • Work directly with State Citizen Corps Councils
    • Monitor progress and challenges at the local level


  • Fire Corps logo request
  • Conference request form
  • Example documents provided by other Fire Corps programs
  • Customizable sample documents
  • New and innovative ideas and best practices
  • Found at

Guides & Toolkits

  • Fire Corps Department Starter Kit
  • Fire Corps Resource Guide
  • Fire Corps Liability Guide: Managing the Unexpected in Fire Corps Activities
  • CERT & Fire Corps: Working Together to Build Stronger Communities
  • Getting Started With Firewise Toolkit
  • Home Safety Checklist
  • All-Ways Fire Safe at Home Module
  • 1-800-FIRE-LINE Toolkit for States

Outreach & Marketing Materials

  • Promotional/informational videos
  • Community outreach presentation
  • Public service announcements
    • Video
    • Radio
    • Print
  • Brochures
  • Press releases

Highlight Your Program

  • Retain members by highlighting accomplishments and innovative activities
  • Program profile
  • Volunteer spotlight
  • Use profile information form found at

Photo courtesy of Ingleside Volunteer Fire Department (TX)


Grants & Funding

  • Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)
  • Fire Prevention & Safety Grant (FP&S)
  • Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER)
  • Citizen Corps funding
  • Local, state, and national foundations
  • Visit grant section of Fire Corps web site


  • Toll-free telephone number anyone in the U.S. can call to find information about volunteer opportunities in their community
  • Recruitment tool
  • Publicize 1-800-FIRE-LINE
    • Video, radio, and print PSAs
    • Flyers
    • Web site banners
    • And more

Getting Started

  • Visit for important tools and resources
  • Perform needs assessment
  • Designate a leader
  • Register with Fire Corps
  • Draft an action plan

Photo courtesy of Ingleside Volunteer Fire Department (TX)



  • Costs:
    • Time and/or salary and benefits for program coordinator(s) if paid
    • Applicant screening
    • Specialized on-the-job training
    • Supplies, equipment, uniforms, etc.
    • Recognition
  • Liabilities:
    • Consult legal counsel and insurance provider
    • Utilize liability waiver or release form
    • Consult other volunteer programs within local government agencies
    • Applicable liability laws vary by state
    • Refer to Fire Corps Liability Guide for additional information

Recruiting Volunteers

  • Identify key places to recruit
  • Communicate that department needs assistance
  • Utilize Fire Corps resources at
  • Stress benefits and rewards for volunteering

Photo courtesy of Dayna Hilton, Johnson County RFD#1 (AR)


Selecting Volunteers

  • Communicate your needs to the community
  • Use a variety of media outlets to convey your message
  • Volunteer application form
    • List skills, experience, and availability
    • Screen applicants
  • Interview
  • Accept/decline

Photo courtesy of Macomb Township Fire Department (MI)


Retaining Volunteers

  • Provide uniforms
  • Recognize volunteer efforts
    • Write letters of commendation
    • Nominate volunteers for awards
    • Post photos of volunteers in action
  • Ask for feedback and act on it

Photo courtesy of Macomb Township Fire Department (MI)


Share Your Success

  • Participate in Citizen Corps Council
  • Research local businesses or other community organizations as possible partners to support your program
  • Submit press releases to local media outlets
  • Inform government officials about successes and program contributions

Thank You!

“When firefighters can stand side by side with citizens in promoting fire prevention and general safety efforts, and are able to invite citizens to assist with non-emergency responsibilities, the overall security and safety of their community is greatly enhanced.”

- Chief R. David Paulison

Former U.S. Fire Administrator and FEMA Director

7852 Walker Drive, Suite 450

Greenbelt, MD 20770

1-888-FC-INFO1 (324-6361)

202-887-5291 fax email



Photo courtesy of Dayna Hilton, Johnson County RFD#1 (AR)