Cromwell, Conn. - Today, the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA), in partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), formally kicks off the Everyday Hero volunteer-firefighter recruitment campaign. The campaign is part of the Volunteer Workforce Solutions program designed to help Connecticut’s fire departments achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce. The program is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the CFCA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a model to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.
Fifteen Connecticut fire departments are participating in the 2-year program, designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in the state. The fire departments will use geographic information systems (GIS) to take in-depth looks at their communities, measuring demographic, cultural and economic data to predict the best way to recruit a volunteer firefighter workforce. The results and findings from the program and the recruitment efforts will benefit all fire departments in the state. In addition, several leadership workshops aimed at improving retention will be offered to all departments statewide.
CFCA President Marc Scrivener stated, "The CFCA is pleased to partner with the IAFC to apply data-driven recruitment practices for Connecticut fire departments and affect tangible long-term volunteer staffing solutions."
The number one issue facing volunteer fire departments today is the ability to maintain adequate staffing levels. Eighty percent of all fire personnel in Connecticut are volunteer firefighters and the majority of departments are experiencing a volunteer shortage.
"I commend CFCA for its leadership in addressing the serious matter of volunteer firefighter shortages in volunteer and combination fire departments," said Chief G. Keith Bryant, IAFC president and chairman of the board. “Fire departments everywhere have an enormous responsibly to protect life and property in our communities, but face many challenges. The IAFC stands as a proud partner with CFCA and the 15 participating fire departments in Connecticut to employ this innovative approach to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters."
Being a volunteer is a rewarding experience and one of the best ways you can make a difference in the community where you live. The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of those around you. Your local fire department needs volunteers of all skill levels and abilities who are willing and able to respond to emergencies when needed. Be a local everyday hero: if you have what it takes, you can make a difference by joining today.
To learn more about becoming a firefighter and joining your local volunteer fire department, please visit www.EverydayHeroCT.org.
About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more