Volunteer Issues

Thoughts on Recruitment and Retention for the Volunteer Fire Service

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer The recruitment and retention of members is a critical issue for many volunteer fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Fundamentally, the problem has “many moving parts” as outlined by Rick Markley in his Introduction to my recently published e-book, Essays on Recruitment and Retention for the Fire Service: Recruiting and retaining outstanding firefighters is ...

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Wildland Fires Rage Across the Carolinas in USA

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Frightening photos from wildfires burning in North Carolina. Now before any of our firefighter brothers and sisters out west say, “That’s not a real wildfire,” please keep in mind that here in the eastern USA we don’t combat fires on the scale and magnitude that you do out west. That’s a fact, and you ...

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Junior Firefighter Camp is About More than Skills

My first trip to summer camp since 1975 was West Virginia University Fire Service Extension’s 9th annual Junior Firefighter Camp held at the WV State Fire Academy outside of Weston, WV. This year’s camp attracted campers from 12 different states—including Colorado, Arkansas, and Maine—as well as one young man from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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Stressors for POC and Volunteer Firefighters

What I find to be true for the points made by both Linda and MB Firefighter is that all but one—the impact of emergency incident management on firefighters—are entirely within our scope as leaders and managers to manage out of the fire service.

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Fire Department in Danger After Levy Fails

As Dr. Phil says, “It’s time to get real!” Fire departments must stop trying to provide a model of fire protection—one that’s predicated on saving lives and property through the reactive deployment of firefighters who implement an interior fire attack the majority of time—when the department does not possess the resources to do so safely, effectively, and efficiently according to accepted standards and practices, e.g., NFPA 1710 or NFPA 17.

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The Influence of Training

I believe it is safe to say there are not many emergency services personnel who would deny that training is paramount to successful operations on incidents. However, there are some whose actions would show otherwise.

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Finding Your Funding

Once upon a time…with a beginning like that you just know this is going to be a good story, right? Well the good news is that it’s not a fairy tale. It is, however, the fictitious story of how a fictitious municipal fire department, the Cutting Edge County Fire and Rescue (CECFR) Department, created a non-profit organization (NPO) to provide financial support to its customer service efforts. It serves as a model for actual departments to follow.

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11 Resources for Funding Fire and EMS

By:  Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Thank you to my Guest Bloggers, Branden Husky and Charles Snyder, for their contributions to this space over the past couple of week!  (You’ve given my fingers a well-deserved rest!) Recently, I have had several informative communications via e-mail with folks who are desperately looking for funding sources to help them accomplish their mission ...

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Fire Camps for Girls & Young Women

Summer fire camps provide a great opportunity for girls and young women to discover what an exciting and rewarding experience being a firefighter can be. Camps also provide fire service organizations an equally great opportunity to begin "growing" the next generation of women firefighters.

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Sexual Assault and Rape in Fire Service

In this latest installment of Reader “Mailbag” I’ve collected several of the reader comments in response to the blog post, The Sexual Sexual Harassment Strike OutAssault and Rape of Women Firefighters: Survey Results. I gleaned the representative comments from across the various social media platforms where this blog appears, e.g., LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, and Twitter.

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