National Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS)
Eden Prairie Fire
Recruitment efforts aimed at women
Eden Prairie Fire, along with other various combination departments in the area, came together to host “The Women’s Fire Service Expo,” an event focused on recruiting more women into the volunteer fire service. The one-day event began with a morning classroom session, that included a presentation about safety, breaking the group up into “crews,” and getting fitted for gear. The afternoon session had each crew rotate scenarios, including auto extrications, search and rescue, and fire suppression.
While the event was free to participants, all involved departments made a donation of $500.00 to offset the costs of the training facility, water, lunch, and t-shirts. Initially, registration numbers were low, but after the city’s communications department sent out separate “press day” invitations, the event was filled. These press invitations allowed for female reporters to come out and experience some of the scenarios days before the event and then generate interest from their articles.
By having a hands-on training expo for women to experience firefighting without having to fully commit to a department, women are given the opportunity to see if they would enjoy the work. This also gives departments the chance to sell themselves without having to waste time and resources on those that do not understand what volunteering really means.
By having each department chip in with a small donation, all departments were recognized as being “women-friendly” and do not have to handle the entire cost of hosting an event this large on their own.
For more information or to submit a story from your own department, please contact Rhiannon Bogozi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vol. 1, Issue 3