New Day in the Firehouse

Just passing along an article by Billy G., that may be worth reading.

This is an excellent article that your Mayor City Manager and related City Hall Dwellers are we figured we'd pass it on.

As you will read, its titled/sub-titled with "It's a New Day In The Firehouse"...and "the job of firefighting has changed, almost beyond recognition"...and "it's not easy to to recruit those needed to do it"....

Other statements include:


"Our recruiting pamphlets for fire departments show people fighting fires in their bunker gear or pulling people out of vehicles," says Thomas Jenkins, past IAFC President and the fire chief in Rogers, Ark. "But the first thousand calls in a firefighter's career may not involve any of those things. We save exponentially more people in emergency medical care. But we don't do a good job educating people about what it is."


There are several other reasons why recruiting and retention have grown more difficult. One is that the financial payoffs and benefits are not as attractive for salaried firefighters as they once did.


Among cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000, 80 percent did not meet the four-fighters-per-engine standard.


The unavoidable truth, says Jenkins, "is that we have a very legitimate recruitment and retention problem for full-time fire departments. Almost every department is seeing a decrease in people testing and applying to be firefighters." The situation only promises to get worse as a wave of baby boom firefighters retires over the next several years.

(The pool of recruits, like them or not, are millennial's who simply ARE different than what we are used to-but not that much different than what generations before us thought of us. But are millennial interested in the job of firefighting?)

Part of the problem is convincing candidates to sign up for the intense lifestyle of fire service. Smaller departments that rely heavily or exclusively on volunteer firefighters have been grappling with this problem for a long time. Dave Finger of the National Volunteer Fire Council says the number of volunteers has remained about the same, but call volumes have increased significantly. Small-town residents who might be interested in volunteer fire work are traveling ever-longer distances to get to their regular jobs, leaving less time for pursuits like volunteering.

(And everyday we continue to read about volunteer fire departments shutting down, merging with others, having to hire personnel and drastically changing.)

Check it out

New Day in the Firehouse

Fire Line

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