Whether you know it or not, every fire department has its own culture. If you haven’t explored what your department’s culture is, then chances are you’re not the one driving its values. Let me explain.

Recently, I re-read Ann Rhoades’s book “Built on Values.” One reason I decided to read it again was that the late Stephen R. Covey wrote the foreword. Covey was one of my favorite authors who focused on leadership, and who wrote classic books, like “Principle-Centered Leadership.”

Covey put forth that the leaders of any organization clearly set the direction and values that subordinates follow. In the case of a fire/EMS department, it means the chief, along with their assistant chiefs and officers, set the tone, not just by edict, but also through their example. Read More...

I read fire service articles from several different web sites and periodicals. Why? Because there are great fire service leaders who publish in other venues as well as ours. Recently, on the exact same day, I came across two different articles about motivating firefighters in the 21st century.

The first was actually more a one-sided critique of our newest generation of firefighters, where the author lamented a change in attitude in these new firefighters and voiced a fear that we in the fire service could soon lose our credibility with the public that we serve. He stressed that the newest recruits not only have to be taught to be firefighters, but also, in most cases, how to be adults as well. Read More...

Recruitment & Retention

PSA Promoting Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment Features NASCAR’s Joey Logano
The NVFC partnered with Shell Pipeline Company LP to help promote volunteer opportunities in the fire and emergency services with a public service announcement (PSA) featuring NASCAR driver Joey Logano. Departments can use the PSA to help make their community aware of the need for volunteers
Post Your Volunteer Opportunities with the NVFC’s Recruitment Campaign
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) officially launches the public outreach component of the new Make Me A Firefighter volunteer recruitment campaign on December 1. Make sure your department is registered and has posted your available volunteer opportunities so that potential volunteers can find you
A recent NVFC survey indicates that 29 percent of the U.S. population is interested in volunteering as a responder in the fire and emergency services. The numbers are even higher among under-represented audiences. 44 percent of Millennials and 36 percent of minorities expressed at least some interest in volunteering. However, the survey revealed 79 percent of respondents did not know their department was seeking volunteers. This new recruitment campaign aims to bridge this gap between interest and awareness, but potential volunteers can’t find you if your department isn’t listed

The campaign is free and provides your department with customizable recruitment tools and materials to help you successfully recruit more volunteers. Registered departments can access the following resources

  • Feature your department’s volunteer opportunities in a database searchable by prospective volunteers from the public MakeMeAFirefighter.org web site as well as other volunteer search engines including All for Good
  • View the profiles of the volunteers who have applied for your opportunities and follow up with them directly
  • Customize campaign materials such as posters and handouts for your department’s needs through an easy-to-use materials generator
  • Find tips, tools, and training to help make your recruitment and retention efforts a success

With national public promotion of the campaign beginning December 1, now is the time to register and get your volunteer opportunities posted. Learn more about the campaign here. Register today and post your opportunities here

Interested in Volunteering
Call 1-800-FIRE-LINE today to volunteer for your local fire/EMS department. Emergency and non-emergency volunteers are needed

The MCVFA is glad that you have an interest in volunteering for your local fire or EMS department. Calling 1-800-FIRE-LINE (toll-free telephone number) you will find information about both emergency and non-emergency volunteer opportunities in your community

Fire & Emergency Service Terminology
If you have never set foot inside a fire or EMS department before, some of the lingo might be unfamiliar to you. To provide you with a little background, here are some commonly used terms and their definitions. Click here to download

MCVFA’s Recruitment & Retention PSAs

In 2013, MCVFA will be airing three Public Service Announcements (PSAs) throughout the state on television and radio. These PSAs are available to local departments for their use

To view PSA 1 click here

To view PSA 2 click here

To view PSA 3 click here

If you have questions or would like copies of the PSAs, please contact Susan Dyer, MCVFA Recruitment Coordinator at 443-994-3350 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.