Reputation Management

VCOS VISION image Reputation management is the foundation of viable emergency service organizations (ESOs). ESO members are held to a higher standard and trust must be maintained. News media, increased communication technology and sensationalized journalism all make the emergency service vulnerable to imprudent actions that can do immediate and long-term damage to the reputation of the ESO and emergency service overall.

No matter how careful and prepared an organization is, unforeseen and unfortunate events are a reality of the business and must be planned for.

4 Tips for Using Social Media to Engage Your Community

Don't have a dept social media presence? If even one member of your dept does than you do!
  • Resource

A Comprehensive Framework for Determining the Cost of an EMS System

The objective of this article is to present an EMS cost framework.
  • Resource

Accident & Injury Investigation

The purpose of this guideline is to provide a process for investigating accidents / incidents.
  • BrochureAdoptingFirewiseCommunitiesUSA

Adopting Firewise Communities USA (NFPA)

NFPA's Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program encourages and acknowledges citizen action to reduce community wildfire risk.
  • Resource

Advocates for EMS: Board of Directors

A listing of the board of directors and supporters of the Advocates for EMS.

Alaska's Project Code Red/Basic Firefighter

Alaska Department of Public Safety Project Code Red/Basic firefighter program.
  • Firefighter views the AskRail app on mobile phone

AskRail® App

Immediate access to accurate, timely data about what type of hazmat a railcar is carrying so responders can make informed decisions.
  • beinclusivep31280x720

Be Inclusive Initiative

The IAFC's Volunteer & Combination Officers Section (VCOS) worked with the Human Relations Committee (HRC) to create the "Be Inclusive" poster.
  • VCOS Best Practices Cancer Poster

Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer Poster

The poster provides specific actions to take to address the cancer epidemic and protect firefighters.

Best Practices to Minimize Injuries and Deaths while Using Privately Owned Vehicles (POVs) for ESO Responses

A report exploring best practices while using privately owned vehicles (POV) for ESO responses. The report is a joint effort ...

Blurring The Lines for a Realistic Fire Service

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

Building Sturdy Relationships with Elected Officials

Webinar: Tips for building solid relationships with your elected officials to benefit your department and your future as a leader.
  • IAFC Respect Zone branding

Bullying and Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit

A toolkit policies, tips and tools to help prevent bullying and violence in the workplace.
  • VWS logo

Combining Monthly Meeting with Community Event Case Study

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

Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services

VISION: Resources and a listing of the Board of Directors for the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services.
  • 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,

Model_Driver_Training_Spreadsheets Model-Driver-Training-Program_Ponderosa

Example materials covering pumper, rescue and tower apparatus driver training.
  • Emergency Services Road Map to Health & Wellness

Emergency Services Road Map to Health & Wellness

Next generation Fire Department Guide to NFPA 1582: Info, education & sample documents toward implementing a comprehensive wellness program.

False Alarm Response Fees Feasibility Analysis (EFOP, US)

An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

False Alarms: A Community Problem

City of Wichita document for the public giving tips for false alarm prevention.
  • Field Guide to Tank Cars AAR V2 1280x720

Field Guide to Tank Cars (AAR)

Types, safety systems, stenciling, and markings of tank cars that transport regulated (hazmat/dangerous goods) and nonregulated commodities.
  • 10x4bannersmall1280x720px

Fillable Marketing Materials for Volunteer Recruitment

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

Fire Chief Position Description

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

Fire Engineering: Are You Ready for the EMS Challenge

Article from Fire Engineering

Firefighter Training: Best Practices for Exterior Firefighters

Recommended minimum training standards based on firefighter tasks and promote best practices for firefighter training and education.

Florida Volunteer Firefighter Training

Florida Division of State Fire Marshal and Florida State Fire College volunteer firefighter training.
  • RFHHFTFoamApplication

Foam Application for High Hazard Flammable Train (HHFT) Fires

Report by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (2017)
  • VWS logo

GIS Tapestry Report Sample

Sample GIS tapestry report developed by National VWS.

Guide for Reducing Unwanted Alarms

Article from Occupational Health & Safety.
  • A Healthcare Provider

Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Firefighter Physicals

Research-based guide to help primary care providers evaluate, treat and monitor firefighters' unique health and wellness needs.
  • Resource

How to Evaluate an EMS System

EMS World article "Things Your System Should Deliver" by Robert J. Sullivan
  • IAFC KnowledgeNet

IAFC KnowledgeNet

Discuss issues and solutions with other IAFC members online, share SOPs and other resources

IAFC Position: Eliminating Unwanted and Nuisance Fire Alarm Activations

Unwanted and nuisance alarms are preventable; result in unneeded responses that negatively impact public & firefighter safety, local budgets.
  • IAFC Public Safety GIS Viewer wildfire, wind and weather map

IAFC Public Safety GIS Viewer

An interactive introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) for first responders and how it can assist daily operations.

IAFC Webinar: Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Image

WebEx archive: Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Image (56 minutes) Summary: This webinar discusses the growing need

Impact of Unnecessary Response on Community Risk (EFOP, US)

Evaluating the relationship between unnecessary utilization of resources and its resulting impact on community risk.
  • Resource

Integration of NREMT and EMS

Information on the NREMT website about the integration of NREMT and EMS.
  • 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.
  • Resource

Letter Template: Support FIRE-SAFER Appropriations

Use this template on your department letterhead to request Congress to support the fire/emergency service by reauthorizing AFG program funding.

vcos LODD Guidelines TX07

Denton County Fire Chief's Association Policy for Line of Duty Death
  • Resource

Managing Volunteer and Combination Emergency Service Organizations: Tips for the Fire Department CEO

Details 18 important topics for the chief - the CEO of the fire department.

Mississippi Training and Certification Programs for Volunteer Firefighters

Mississippi State Fire Academy training & certification programs for volunteer firefighters.

Misuse and Abuse of 911

A guide from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. Background

Misuse of the 911 or Emergency Call System

City code from Edmonds, WA.
Ponderosa Fire Department

Multiple Operational Guidelines (Ponderosa Vol Fire Dept, TX)

Standard operational guidelines provided by Ponderosa Vol Fire Dept. as samples.
  • Resource

National Association of State EMS Officials listing of State EMS Agencies

A list of state EMS agencies.
  • Resource

National EMS Advisory Council Membership

Identifies those responsible for establishing national guidance for EMS in the US.
  • Resource

National Volunteer Fire Council: EMS/Rescue Section Leadership

VISION resource

NFPA 1001 Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications

NAFTD official position on NFPA 1001.

Officer-Discretion Response Mode (EFOP, US)

An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

Ohio Volunteer Firefighter Training

Ohio Department of Public Safety's Volunteer Firefighter Training program.
  • VCOS Orange Ribbon Report

Orange Ribbon Report

This toolkit identifies questions chiefs & local policy makers must consider regarding increases to EMS responses in their communities.

Oregon Fire Ground Leader Task Book

Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training's Fire Ground Leader Task Book.

Oregon Fire Ground Leader Training Program

Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training fire ground leader training program
  • VWS logo

Partnering with Local Businesses for Recruitment (Pizza Delivery)

Recruitment effort aimed at local businesses

Prioritizing Emergency Calls (EFOP, US)

Prioritizing Emergency Medical Calls in Yakima County (WA) Fire District 12.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Reduce Unnecessary Emergency Room Use with Enhanced Primary Care Access

Policies/program example from the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

Reducing Accidents While Responding (EFOP, US)

An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

Reducing False Alarms

Fire Industry Association Alarm recommendations.

Reducing Risk of Vehicle Collisions During Unnecessary Alarms

Aurora (OH) Fire Department. A research project submitted to the Ohio Fire Executive Program.

Reducing Risks from False Fire Alarms (EFOP, US)

Reducing risk from false fire alarms in Appleton, WI.

Reducing Risks While Responding (EFOP, US)

Reducing the risk from red lights and siren response in Watertown, South Dakota.

Reducing Unwanted Fire Signals (False Alarms) (UK)

Policies/program example from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue (UK).
  • VWS logo

Revitalizing Recruitment Efforts Case Study

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

Social Media Toolkit

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

State-by-State breakdown of Rural Health and Human Services Resources

State-by-state breakdown of rural health and human services resources.
  • Resource

TAMPA 2 Report: Carrying the Safety Message into the Future

Final report from NFFF’s 2014 TAMPA 2 Firefighter Life Safety Summit to review and discuss the 16 life safety initiatives.

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.

Unwanted Fire Signals (UK)

Policies/program example from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue (UK).
  • VCOS logo - IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section

VCOS Educational Opportunities

VCOS offers a online and in-person conferences and training opportunities in support of the volunteer and combination fire service.
  • VCOS Blue Ribbon Report

VCOS Ribbon Reports

VCOS Silver Ribbon Report (pdf, 3 mb):Guidelines and Best Practices for a Successful Youth Fire Service Program VCOS Orange ...
  • VCOS_ribbonnReport_2017_1280x720

VCOS Yellow Ribbon Report - Under the Helmet: Performing an Internal Size-Up

Background, statistics, resources, and action items toward a proactive approach to mental wellness in the fire & emergency service
  • VISION The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

VISION: The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

Resources that focus on specific areas of challenges relating to creating and sustaining viable emergency response programs

Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention in Rural Pennsylvania

test test test
  • 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.

What's Happening at the IAFC

The IAFC's overarching accomplishments relevant to the IAFC Strategic Direction document.

White Paper on Volunteer Firefighter Training

Policy position stating that all volunteer fire departments should establish a goal to train all personnel based on NFPA 1001.