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National Volunteer Workforce Solutions

The National Volunteer Workforce Solutions is an initiative to assist combination and volunteer fire departments with the means to improve their ability to recruit, retain, and manage the volunteer of the future.  The program provides specifically tailored assistance to 10 pilot departments, and has created and curated a variety of resources for combination and volunteer fire departments across the country.


Templates & Guides
Social Media Handbook 

A Digital Toolkit to Help Your Department’s “Do More with Less” Dilemma: November 2016

Case Studies
The following case studies are unique examples of strong recruitment and retention efforts that have been successful. For more information or to submit a story for your own department, please contact Rhiannon Bogozi.

The Council for Future Volunteer Firefighters (CFVF)

The CFVF is an advisory group comprised of seven organizations to help shape and define the volunteer of the future, as it relates to the fire service. This group is leveraged for their expertise, connections to assist with the development and dissemination of materials, and to represent their organization’s stakeholders for this national initiative. The CFVF includes:

  • Points of Light
  • IAFC’s VCOS Board
  • IAFC’s Human Relations Committee
  • NVFC
  • iWomen
  • Oklahoma State University, School of Fire Protection & Safety
  • University of Maryland

Pilot Programs

The program is working with ten fire departments nationwide. The departments, which were selected by the Council in 2016, include:

  • Elkin Fire Department
  • Mountain View Fire and Rescue
  • Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue
  • Ketchikan Fire Department
  • Brooklyn Center Fire Department
  • Santa Fe County Fire Department
  • Prince George’s County Fire Department
  • Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department
  • Milton Fire Department 
  • Windsor-Severance Fire Department

These departments will receive marketing materials, assistance in public education efforts, access to an online volunteer management system, a national handbook that outlines how to successfully run the business of a fire department, access to web-based training and in-person workshops, along with the 2018 State of the Volunteer Fire Service report.


Running from December 2015 until December 2018, the National Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) program aims to increase the number of women and other under-represented groups among volunteer firefighting positions across the United States. This project will also assist combination and volunteer fire departments with the means to improve their ability to recruit, retain, and manage the volunteer of the future.

The IAFC, in partnership with iWomen and the IAFC’s VCOS, are pleased to undertake a national initiative of the VWS program.

This national initiative is made possible through a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant for volunteer recruitment and retention.

National VWS informational one-pager (pdf)

Contact Us

Monica Willemssen
Program Specialist
(703) 537-4845

Jenny Bragiel
Program Coordinator

Lexie Coulson
Program Coordinator

Rhiannon Bogozi
Program Coordinator