Leadership, Volunteer Fire Service

Saving the Volunteer Fire Service for the Next Generation

Issue 11 and Volume 172.

VOLUNTEERS CORNER ❘ By BLAIZE LEVITAN My grandfather was a volunteer firefighter. My mother was a volunteer firefighter. I’ve now had the honor of serving my community as a volunteer firefighter. Yet, I can’t help but think, “Is this the end of the line?” It’s no secret that we’ve got a big, complicated, and growing problem in the fire service. Although nearly 70 percent of firefighters in this country are volunteers, our recruitment and retention rates are in decline and our ranks are aging, according to a report by the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC).1 This report states, “Departments are finding it difficult to attract younger members due to a range of reasons, including increased demands on people’s time, longer commuting distances to and from work, the prevalence of two-income households, and increased training requirements.” Simultaneously, volunteer fire departments are responding to an increasing number of more complicated, time-intensive calls…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now