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.

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Breaking Bad Habits: Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters

Learn how to break bad habits in volunteer recruitment and retention.
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Climate Survey Toolkit

How to conduct a climate survey in your department to improve inclusiveness.
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Combining Monthly Meeting with Community Event Case Study

Effort blends recruitment, retention, community involvement, financial assistance (Bethel Acres Volunteer Fire Dept.)
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Communicating Your Passion

Webinar: Tips to help your members effectively tell others in your community how excited and proud volunteer firefighting can make them.
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Connecticut WS Recruitment PSAs

CT WS Recruitment PSAs
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Connecting with Your Local Underrepresented Communities

How you can connect with your local underrepresented communities to strengthen volunteer membership
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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.
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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the U.S. Volunteer and Combination Fire-Rescue Service Study Final Report

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion study report identifies areas of improvement and recommends actions departments can take to help with R&R.

Ehow Money: Firefighter Job Description & Duties

VISION: Document provides a generic description of the position of firefighter.
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Fear Factor: Now You’re the Volunteer Fire Chief

Ten Tips for a New Volunteer Fire Chief
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Fillable Marketing Materials for Volunteer Recruitment

Customize these templates with your department info. Includes banners, posters, postcards and more.
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Fire Chief Position Description Template

A Fire Chief job description template that departments can edit to meet needs and post when seeking a Chief.
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Fire Service Women of Vision and Leadership

Learn more about exceptional women in fire and emergency services.

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.
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GIS Tapestry Report Sample

Sample GIS tapestry report developed by National WS.
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Growing As a Leader Series: Six Ways to Build, Engage and Retain Your Team

Check out this 6 part leadership series that will give you practical, tangible takeaways to improve your leadership.
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Guide for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Department

A usable, practical tool on how to create a diverse and inclusive culture in your department.

Guide to Best Practices in Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention

Volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention resources from PFESI.
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Helping Members Find Their Spark, Training Resources

Mentoring Course Resources
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How To Host a Successful Open House

The ability to host a successful open house is vital to volunteer fire departments.
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How to Utilize a GIS Tapestry Report

Tapestry reports deliver community specific data that can assist you in better understanding your community

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

IAFC's statement supporting Individuals` Rights to Serve Their Communities in Multiple Capacities.
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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.
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More Than a School Visit: A Message for Representation and Inclusion

Case study demonstrating how school visits are opportunities for inclusion
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North Carolina Recruitment PSAs

NC VWS Recruitment PSA

Oklahoma State Fire Association: Volunteer Firefighter Job Description

VISION: Document provides a sample job description for firefighter and physical agility testing.
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Outreach for Inclusion: How to Engage Diverse Communities

Outreach tips to engage everyone in your community.
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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.
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Preserving the Tradition of Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Check out these whitepapers and posters on retention and recruitment.
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Recruitment and Retention Efforts With Help From a Local Public Relations Firm

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

Recruitment Campaign Marketing Materials

VISION: Customizable recruitment marketing materials created by the National Volunteer Workforce Solutions program.
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Recruitment Efforts Aimed at Women

Recruitment efforts aimed at women
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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.
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Recruitment Through Sponsorship of Community Athletic Fields

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

Everything your department needs for retention and recruitment.

Retention and Recruitment Presentation

Presentation on retention and recruitment at the VCOS Symposium in the Sun in 2013.
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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.
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Social Media Toolkit - How to use and manage social-media sites

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.
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Tennessee Workforce Solutions Recruitment PSAs

TN Workforce Solutions Recruitment PSAs

The Disappearing Volunteer Firefighter

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

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.
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VCOS and NVFC Lavender Ribbon Report: Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer

Information, statistics and resources on the 11 best practices to prevent firefighter cancer.
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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).
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VCOS Ribbon Reports

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

The VCOS Yellow Ribbon Report Update includes a new set of 11 best practices for responder behavioral wellness.

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.
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Volunteer to Combination Conversion Online Series

Learn how to transition your department from all volunteer to combination.
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What Fuels Your Fire? Radio Campaign Samples

Sample of National WS 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.
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Workforce Solutions Press Release Templates

Press release templates to help you keep your community safe and bring in volunteers.
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Workforce Solutions Recruitment and Retention Support

Need help with volunteer recruitment & retention?We can help!
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Workforce Solutions Resources

The WS program focuses work on volunteer and combination systems’ recruitment and retention efforts