Leadership

THE CAREER/VOLUNTEER RELATIONSHIP

Issue 5 and Volume 150.

THE CAREER/VOLUNTEER RELATIONSHIP BY THOMAS M. SULLIVAN We hear quite a lot about the wildland interface/intermix in the fire service; however, there is another interface/intermix that we hear very little about: the career/volunteer relationship. Let`s face it, in some fire departments, careers and volunteers hate each other. Of course, this is not always the case, but we rarely hear about the departments in which the two groups get along. I am sure such departments are out there, but when combination departments are formed, we usually only hear about the problems. Conflicts between career and volunteer firefighters are like dealing with an old, eccentric relative–everyone is aware of the situation but nobody wants to talk about it. This article addresses the addition of full-time firefighters to previously all-volunteer departments in a way that will work. In traditional departments, this can be a painful process. But there are ways to make a…

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