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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Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer Posters

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 ...
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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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Connecting with Your Local Underrepresented Communities

How you can connect with your local underrepresented communities to strengthen volunteer membership
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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.
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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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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: Volunteer Profile Form

Form used by FASNY to acquire data on new volunteer firefighters.
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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 Correspond with Membership

The world is filled with communication overload. How do you correspond quickly and effectively with members?
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How to Increase Membership Motivation

It’s up to department leaders to get to know their membership and identify how individuals best receive praise

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 ...

Incentive Program Example

VISION: A sample incentive program.
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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.

Managing Conflict in Combination Fire Departments

Evaluation of the causes of conflict within combination fire departments & how to manage them.
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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

Motivation of Volunteer Firefighters in Combination Fire Departments

Description of factors that motivate members in combination fire departments.
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Outreach for Inclusion: How to Engage Diverse Communities

Outreach tips to engage everyone in your community.

Personnel Today: Fire Service Recruitment Campaign Aims to Increase Diversity

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

Ponderosa VFD Volunteer Incentive Plan

This contribution provides the nuts and bolts details of this successful volunteer retention plan.
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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
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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.

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.
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Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service

White paper describing the status of cancer in the fire service.

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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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 Disappearing Volunteer Firefighter

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

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 Update: Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer - September 2021

Updated information, statistics and resources on the 11 best practices to prevent firefighter cancer.
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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.
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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.
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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 - 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
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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.

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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Workforce Solutions Recruitment and Retention Support

Need help with volunteer recruitment & retention?We can help!