VCOS VISION image Emergency service organizations (ESOs) need proven recruitment methods including information and resources on how to ensure a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Volunteer-based ESOs that use fraternal selection processes and fail to adopt a modern business model for volunteer selection. Place the organization at risk for potential legal action related to discrimination and unfair hiring practices.

The mixture of differences and similarities each member brings to the workplace strengthens our ability to accomplish our mission. In addition to the operational skills usually targeted when recruiting, there is a need to attract new members who bring specialized, non-operational skills to the organization. This allows the organization to adapt to societal changes and improve its ability to compete for new members.

  • Various social media brands

A Digital Toolkit to Help Your Department's "Do More with Less" Dilemma

Webinar: Tips for starting out in social media or using it to boost recruitment, including low-cost tools to help build success.

Blurring The Lines for a Realistic Fire Service

Tiered response program with different physical & training requirements based on individual participation levels.
  • VWS logo

Breaking Bad Habits: Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters

Learn how to break bad habits in volunteer recruitment and retention.
  • VWS logo

Combining Monthly Meeting with Community Event Case Study

Effort blends recruitment, retention, community involvement, financial assistance (Bethel Acres Volunteer Fire Dept.)
  • Resource

Communicating Your Passion

Webinar: Tips to help your members effectively tell others in your community how excited and proud volunteer firefighting can make them.
  • VWS logo

Coordinating With Local Businesses to Arrange Daily Leave for Emergency Calls

How Harmony Fire District has increased available volunteer firefighters during week day hours.
  • Resource

Cost Savings Calculator

A tool used to calculate the amount of money your department saves the community & resources provided for presenting to funding municipalities,

Cost to Outfit a Firefighter

Graphic illustrating the costs to outfit a firefighter.

Department Recruitment Survey Questions

Document containing the recruitment survey questions utilized in the local department survey.

Ehow Money: Firefighter Job Description & Duties

VISION: Document provides a generic description of the position of firefighter.
  • 10x4bannersmall1280x720px

Fillable Marketing Materials for Volunteer Recruitment

Customize these templates with your department info. Includes banners, posters, postcards and more.
  • Resource

Fire Chief Position Description Template

A Fire Chief job description template that departments can edit to meet needs and post when seeking a Chief.

Firemen's Association of the State of New York: Annual Department Census Form

Form used by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York to determine personnel increase or decrease at the ...

Firemen's Association of the State of New York: Fire In You Campaign Brochure

Sample recruitment brochure

Firemen's Association of the State of New York: Fire In You Campaign Poster (Female)

Poster (female) from FASNY’s Fire In You campaign designed to inform and drive interest to the campaign website.

Firemen's Association of the State of New York: Fire In You Campaign Poster (Male)

Poster from FASNY’s Fire In You campaign designed to inform and drive interest to the campaign website.

Firemen's Association of the State of New York: Tuition Reimbursement Program Handbook

VISION: Program Handbook for FASNY’s community college tuition reimbursement program.

Firemen's Association of the State of New York: Volunteer Profile Form

Form used by FASNY to acquire data on new volunteer firefighters.
  • VWS logo

GIS Tapestry Report Sample

Sample GIS tapestry report developed by National VWS.

Guide to Best Practices in Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention

Volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention resources from PFESI.

IAFC Position: Human Relations and Inclusiveness

The words we speak and write play a significant role in creating the reality of an inclusive work environment. With ...
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: Individuals` Rights to Serve Their Communities in Multiple Capacities

IAFC's statement supporting Individuals` Rights to Serve Their Communities in Multiple Capacities.
  • Resource

IRS Fact Sheet: The Basics on Taxation and Fire Departments

This discussion addresses some of the common questions we receive from firefighters and their employing organizations.
  • VWS logo

More Than a School Visit: A Message for Representation and Inclusion

Case study demonstrating how school visits are opportunities for inclusion

Oklahoma State Fire Association: Volunteer Firefighter Job Description

VISION: Document provides a sample job description for firefighter and physical agility testing.
  • VWS logo

Partnering with Local Businesses for Recruitment (Pizza Delivery)

Recruitment effort aimed at local businesses

Personnel Today: Fire Service Recruitment Campaign Aims to Increase Diversity

VISION: Document provides background on the issue of diversity in the fire service.
  • VWS logo

Recruitment and Retention Efforts With Help From a Local Public Relations Firm

Recruitment and retention efforts with help from a local public relations firm
  • VWS logo

Recruitment and Retention How-To Guides

Short how-to guides to assist with recruitment and retention activities.

Recruitment Campaign Marketing Materials

VISION: Customizable recruitment marketing materials created by the National Volunteer Workforce Solutions program.
  • VWS logo

Recruitment Efforts Aimed at Women

Recruitment efforts aimed at women
  • VWS logo

Recruitment Through Sponsorship of a Little League Team

Put your department’s name in front of the community members that have a strong sense of community.
  • VWS logo

Recruitment Through Sponsorship of Community Athletic Fields

This positive partnership with the town’s baseball opening day ceremony, puts the fire department center stage.

Retention and Recruitment Presentation

Presentation on retention and recruitment at the VCOS Symposium in the Sun in 2013.
  • VWS logo

Revitalizing Recruitment Efforts Case Study

Evaluation & revitalization of recruitment efforts with help from local university (West Point Volunteer Fire Dept.)

SAFER Recruitment Grant Recipients

VISION: List of SAFER grant recipients.
  • VWS logo

Social Media Toolkit

In-depth look into how to use and manage some of the most popular social-media sites.

Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Image (webinar)

Uses the companion guide to discuss how and why departments must take a proactive approach to reputation management.

The Disappearing Volunteer Firefighter

Article in the NY Times from August 2014 about the decline in the number of volunteer firefighters.
  • VWS logo

The State of the Volunteer Fire Service Report

A report to help improve the ability to recruit, retain and manage the volunteers of the future

The Total Cost of Fire in the United States

An NFPA report from 2014 written by John R. Hall, Jr. Page 28 discusses the value of donated time of volunteer firefighters.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook

VISION: Document provides a generic description of the position of firefighter.

USFA`s Retention and Recruitment for the Volunteer Emergency Services Challenges and Solutions

A report from FEMA that outlines the challenges that face volunteer departments.
  • VCOS Blue Ribbon Report

VCOS Blue Ribbon Report: Preserving and Improving the Future of the Volunteer Fire Service

This VCOS ribbon report details steps to take to ensure the future of the volunteer fire service.

VCOS Challenge 3 (Recruitment): Strategic Plan 2011-2018

VISION: IAFC document defining the VCOS Vision Project, Challenge 3 (Recruitment).
  • VCOS Blue Ribbon Report

VCOS Ribbon Reports

The reports every volunteer, combination department needs to know and read.
  • VCOS Silver Ribbon Report

VCOS Silver Ribbon Report: Guidelines and Best Practices for a Successful Youth Fire Service Program

Guidelines on how to start and maintain an effective program for youth in the fire service.

VCOS Vision Project: Department Recruitment Survey Methodology

Document outlining the methodology used to develop and administer a recruitment survey.
  • VCOS White Ribbon Report

VCOS White Ribbon Report: Managing the Business of the Fire Department

A report describing how to manage the business of the fire department produced in 2006 by IAFC`s VCOS.

VFCA- Everyday Heroes Recruitment Video

Volunteer recruitment video created by the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and the Volunteer Workforce Solutions program.

Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention in Rural Pennsylvania

Report includes policy considerations applicable across the United States and to rural Pennsylvania.
  • VWS logo

Volunteer Workforce Solutions Recruitment and Retention Support

Need help with volunteer recruitment & retention?We can help!
  • VWS logo

Volunteer Workforce Solutions Resources

The VWS program focuses work on volunteer and combination systems’ recruitment and retention efforts
  • VWS logo

What Fuels Your Fire? Radio Campaign Samples

Sample of National VWS What Fuels Your Fire Radio Advertisements.

Why I Chose Fire: Next Generation Volunteer Video

Video produced by the Vision 20/20 project encouraging minority volunteering.