How to Recruit, Retain and Train the Next Generation of Firefighters

By Richard Chudy

In 2016, each and every volunteer fire department in New York State will be faced with all of the same issues: recruitment, retention and training.


Our next generation of volunteer firefighters will be a unique group of individuals. This generation was brought up with the mindset that they can do anything anywhere in the world; and it may only be a click away. More and more options of things that they can do with their lives are presented to our youth. Is being a volunteer firefighter one of them?


Once we have our next generation of firefighters, how are we going to retain them? What can we do to keep them involved in our organizations? The next generation of firefighters will be loyal, but will definitely require special attention.


What can we do to make sure our firefighters are proficient and physically fit to do their job? Drill teams are a vital component of the departments they serve with the specific purpose of providing the opportunity to hone basic firefighting proficiencies; develop and foster teamwork; build character; teach commitment and discipline; promote physical fitness and conditioning; and attract and retain individuals in the volunteer fire service.

These purposes are achieved through firematic competition, which complements the fire department’s primary function of emergency response to fires, medical emergencies and other calamities. Drill teams consequently instill their members with a lifelong commitment to serving their community as highly skilled volunteer firefighters.

We are not only seeking full teams, but also individuals that would like to get involved in our organization. If you’re interested in learning more and seeing how you individually can get involved, contact us.

We are committed to growing the fire service and providing a necessary support tool to your fire department.

Photos courtesy of Mike Heller