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Recruitment and Retention

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  1. Recruitment and Retention A call to action to save the volunteer fire and EMS agencies in Ulster County

  2. A national problem According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, there were more than 1,000,000 volunteers nationwide just one decade ago; today, there are less than 800,000.

  3. How do we get started Recruitment and retention is a local issue, but it must be addressed at all levels. The County is going to assist in these efforts, but without local support from each fire department and ambulance squad, the project will fail.

  4. Successful programs • Erie – Tiger Schmittendorf • Rockland – Frank Hutton • Suffolk – Tom O’Hara • National Volunteer Fire Council • US Fire Administration

  5. Required partners • Fire Departments and Ambulance Squads • Political leaders • Business community • The media • The public

  6. The monetary value of volunteer fire/EMS agencies According to a study conducted by St. Joseph’s University, it would cost $37.2 billion annually to replace volunteer firefighters nationwide with career staff.

  7. Calculating the local value Although the National Volunteer Fire Council has an online cost calculator, the results of that exercise, based on the population, number of residences, volunteers, equipment and budgets does not reflect a realistic number for Ulster County as a whole. You may obtain more credible numbers at a local level.

  8. 1998 11,503 fire calls 995 mutual aid calls 3 UAC 17,988 EMS calls 415 mutual aid calls 770 UAC 2008 17,991 fire calls +56% 1,425 mutual aid +43% 24 UAC +700% 24,891 EMS calls +38% 265 mutual aid -36% 1,948 UAC +153% Local trends in call volume

  9. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  10. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  11. Resources • US Fire Administration book • Best practices / ideas

  12. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  13. Single point of contact for volunteer registration • www.ucvolunteers.org • 331-7000

  14. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  15. A multi media marketingplan • Radio PSAs • Local access cable • Pamphlets and newspaper articles • Posters and road signs • Internet • Use of the video produced by UCVFA • Open house

  16. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  17. Volunteer Incentive Program • Collaboration with the UC Chamber of Commerce • FD, Ladies Auxiliary & EMS Members will have an annual ID card • Encourage local business support through patronage (win-win for everyone) • Identify additional participants in your community

  18. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  19. Seminars • Leadership • Best practices • Management • Relationships

  20. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  21. Countywide open house October 4, 2009 is the beginning of fire prevention week, let’s plan that as our first annual countywide open house.

  22. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  23. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  24. Taking a good, long, hard look inside In order to increase the volunteer ranks we must assess why people joined in the first place, why they stay, and why they leave.

  25. Why they volunteer* • Responding to emergencies • Desire to help their neighbors • Family tradition • Social opportunities • Being a part of a team *According to a NVFC, VFIS & St. Joseph’s University study.

  26. Why they stay • Satisfaction in helping their community • Pride in the organization • Camaraderie • Recognition • The “fun” factor

  27. Why they stay (cont.) • Benefit programs • Existing LOSAPs • Tax credits • College scholarships • Health and life insurance programs

  28. Why they leave • Poor leadership • Internal conflict • Time demands • Training requirements • Increasing call volume • Availability of jobs • Availability of affordable homes

  29. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  30. How / where to recruit new members • Personal contact • Civic organizations, clubs • Community events • Local businesses • Local government • Schools, community colleges • Training programs for the public • Establish a cadet program

  31. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  32. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  33. Programs to keep new members • Follow-through on the initial contact • Mentoring program • Involve the new member and their whole family • Recognition • Incentives

  34. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  35. What works for your department? Perhaps your department doesn’t need new members. Perhaps you have your own recruitment and retention program. Perhaps you see only an item or two of interest in what we have presented. Please, use whatever works, take what you like, add your own flavor to the program. But please, share your success stories with everyone else.

  36. County Coordination Resources Single point of contact Marketing Volunteer Incentive Program Seminars Annual open house day Local Identify a point person Determine why vols join, stay and leave How and where to recruit Process applications Orientation/mentoring Pick and choose what elements of the program are important Local incentives County/local partnership

  37. Local incentives • Recognition • Meals • Family events • Golf tournaments • Gas cards • Life & health insurance • LOSAP • ???

  38. Moving forward • We need each agency that wishes to participate to provide the name of a point person for the Recruitment and Retention program within their agency. • Each agency rep will be provided a copy of the US Fire Administration’s Recruitment and Retention publication. • Each agency rep will be e-mailed a copy of this presentation for their use. • We will communicate upcoming events and program enhancements to the point person.

  39. Moving forward (cont.) • This will be a dynamic process. • There is no “one size fits all” for the recruitment and retention program. • We will keep the County’s involvement broad enough so as to not interfere with local efforts. However, we want to support those local efforts in every way we can. • We will try to incorporate your ideas and suggestions into the countywide program.

  40. Moving forward (cont.) There must be on-going communications between the agency point of contact and the County committee. Please feel free to reach out to: Jim Bracco – Ulster Hose # 5 Jim Coddington – New Paltz Rescue Charlie Mutz – Fire Coordinator Ritch Parrish – EMS Coordinator Joe Sills – St Remy Fire Department Art Snyder – Emerg Comm / Emerg Mgmt

  41. Moving forward (cont.) Questions, comments, suggestions……

  42. . Thank you