The Role of the Volunteer Company Officer

Issue 7 and Volume 160.

FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, PEOPLE have been predicting the demise of the volunteer fire service. Those who make this prediction usually cite the increasing difficulty to recruit, train, and retain volunteers, as well as response time standards, higher levels of service, demands for new services, and the lack of daytime availability of volunteers. Yet in many areas of the country, volunteers still thrive and deliver quality service at a fraction of the cost. What makes one department successful in its use of volunteers while another fails? Perhaps the answer lies in the ability of the successful department to better prepare candidates to assume the multiple roles of being a volunteer fire officer. This preparation is one indication that the department values its volunteers and is committed to providing the proper leadership that will motivate continued service. VOLUNTEER COMPANY OFFICER ROLES The volunteer company officer serves in various roles involving…

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