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How to Lose New Members…Quickly

Recruiting new volunteer firefighters in the ranks has been a priority in the volunteer fire service for generations. Plenty of time, energy and money has been directed that way with mixed results. But even when departments are successful in recruiting new members, they often have a hard time keeping them and retention of members has become a hot topic recently. Why are we losing members so quickly after they join? Where is department leadership failing the new members? Where are new members failing their department? This presentation delves into the very real problem that most definitely affects many volunteer fire departments today. It's a problem that must be understood in order to be solved, especially with the average age of the volunteer firefighter increasing right along with most departments’ call volume. This 2 ½ - 3-hour presentation discusses the results obtained from several studies conducted by various organizations including the National Volunteer Fire Council. Current as well as former members of volunteer departments were interviewed about reasons they chose to leave their department as well as reasons they stayed. The results may surprise you. Some very practical and easy to implement solutions are offered to help retain the members we work so hard to recruit.

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