VCOS VISION image It is critical for emergency service organizations (ESOs) to retain qualified members and maintain organizational unity. The inability of an organization to maintain experienced staffing increases risks to the individual member the community as a whole. The lack of data necessary to quantify why volunteer members are leaving ESOs makes it difficult to identify the local and national trends that affect volunteer-based staffing.

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Analysis: U.S. Supreme Court Revisits “Disparate-Impact” Discrimination Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court took a close look at the application of “disparate-impact” discrimination law to a fire department.
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Be Inclusive Initiative

The IAFC's Volunteer & Combination Officers Section (VCOS) worked with the Human Relations Committee (HRC) to create the "Be Inclusive" poster.
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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.
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Bullying and Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit

A toolkit policies, tips and tools to help prevent bullying and violence in the workplace.
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Coaching: Mind Matters for Thought-Filled Leadership (webinar)

A webinar designed to help you strategize solutions for your development and enhance your leadership
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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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Coordinating With Local Businesses to Arrange Daily Leave for Emergency Calls

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


Fire Chief Position Description

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

Government Accounting Standards Board 45

In 2004, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released Statement 45 (GASB 45) concerning health and other non-pension benefits for retired public ...

IAFC Career Center

An employment-related website for positions relating to the fire service.
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IAFC KnowledgeNet

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

IAFC Position: Code of Ethics For Chiefs

The purpose of the IAFC is to actively support the advancement of the fire and emergency service, dedicated to the ...
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IAFC Position: Drug and Alcohol-Free Awareness

The IAFC supports and encourages drug and alcohol-free fire and emergency service agencies/organizations.

IAFC Position: Human Dignity

The IAFC faces many new challenges as we continue to provide leadership to a fire and emergency service that is ...

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: No Tolerance for Discriminatory Behavior in the Fire and Emergency Service

The IAFC firmly believes in no tolerance for acts of inappropriate and illegal discriminatory behaviors in the fire and emergency ...

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

IAFC/IAFF Labor-Management Initiative Guiding Principles

Principles developed and agreed to by the IAFC and the IAFF in the true spirit of cooperation for the enhancement ...
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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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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.

  • Managing Volunteer Fire Fighters - FLSA (A guide for Fire Chiefs)

Managing Volunteer Firefighters for FLSA Compliance: A Guide for Fire Chiefs and Community Leaders

A guide for fire chiefs and community leaders to better manage volunteer firefighters for FLSA compliance.

Maryland Fire Rescue Institute (MFRI)

Maryland Fire Rescue Institute (MFRI) offers classes relating human resource topics such as EEOC and OSHA

Mentoring: Leaders Helping Leaders

Implementing a mentor program to help equip the next generation of chiefs.
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Model Fire and EMS Department Social Media Policy (abstract)

A tool to develop a department position on the use and management of social media and provides guidelines on the administration and oversight.

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NFPA 1710 and 1720 Instruction Aid (abstract)

An overview for community leaders on personnel deployment and response times to fires and medical emergencies
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Partnering with Local Businesses for Recruitment (Pizza Delivery)

Recruitment effort aimed at local businesses
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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
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Recruitment and Retention How-To Guides

Short how-to guides to assist with recruitment and retention activities.
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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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Revitalizing Recruitment Efforts Case Study

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

Sample Documents for use in the event a member of your department is called for active duty

Sample letters are for use in the event a member of your department is called for active duty.
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Social Media Toolkit

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

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Succession Management in the Fire-Rescue Service

34-page guide plus sample plans help fire-rescue departments start their own succession plans.
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Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Perception

A toolkit on how to promote a positive public image for fire/EMS departments.
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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.

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VCOS Red Ribbon Report: Leading the Transition in Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments

This VCOS ribbon report discusses how to begin the process of integrating paid staff into a volunteer department.
  • 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.
  • 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

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