Volunteer Fire Service

The Volunteer/Combination Fire Service: Surviving the Quicksand

Issue 4 and Volume 172.

By Eddie Buchanan Volunteer and combination emergency response organizations across the country continue to struggle with diminishing numbers of volunteer responders, which makes maintaining basic services increasingly difficult. The prevalence of greater time demands on our citizens are well documented, along with a shift in the sense of community service, causing volunteer leaders to have to work harder to recruit volunteers to keep units in service for emergency response. As volunteer leaders feel the heat to keep units in service for emergency calls, much focus is placed on recruitment efforts to find more volunteers. Some volunteer leaders demonstrate a near sense of panic as they recruit anyone they can talk into spending a little time at the station. Although these efforts may produce bodies for future response, they can also have a negative impact or, at least, a perceived negative impact on the value the volunteer organization provides to the…

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