VFF Recruitment and Retention


The need for well-trained and highly-motivated volunteer firefighters, rescue, and EMS personnel throughout America’s communities has never been greater. Over 70% of the fire and rescue personnel who protect our nation are volunteers. Yet, statistics show that while fire and rescue departments call volume is steadily increasing, the number of volunteers is decreasing. The causes for the downward trend in volunteers are varied, including increasing time demands on two-income families, more rigorous training standards, and limited advocacy for volunteering among youth. Retention and recruitment of new members has never been more challenging.

In response to the challenge of recruiting volunteers, many departments have initiated programs to encourage the involvement of youth through Explorer programs and Junior Firefighter/Rescue member programs. Encouraging young people to enter the emergency services as a career often places departments in competition with careers that pay better, and provide a better preparation and learning structure for school age youth. Junior Member programs provide an opportunity to encourage and interest youth in the field of emergency service, as well as training and educational mechanisms to prepare them for future employment. Whether volunteer or career, departments may benefit from programs that allow participation by youth in the activities of the emergency services.

Incentives for Joining the Elizabethtown Fire Department

Training in firefighting, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Haz-Mat, and Technical Rescue strategies.

Membership in the Bladen County and North Carolina State Firemen’s Association.

Membership in the Firemen’s and Rescue Squad Worker’s Pension Fund.

Family oriented atmosphere.