Decline in Volunteers a Nationwide Trend

rescuecpt

Community Leader Emeritus
2,088
1
0
Decline In Volunteers Is A Nationwide Trend, Pennsylvania Amongst Hardest Hit

HEIDI PRICE
Courtesy of Observer-Reporter

In 1976, Pennsylvania boasted an estimated 300,000 volunteer firefighters.

By 1995, the number of volunteers had dropped to 70,000, a 19-year decline of 230,000, according to one study.

Nationwide, volunteers comprise between 85 and 90 percent of firefighter ranks. But Ed Mann, state fire commissioner, said the number of Pennsylvania volunteers is typically closer to 95 percent, making this decline in volunteers even more troubling.

To reverse this trend, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved an amendment to the state school code that allows high schools to offer firefighter and emergency medical services training.

"It's another recruiting tool," said Mann, an assistant chief at a small volunteer station. "Everyone needs to understand this is not a mandate on school districts."

http://cms.firehouse.com/content/article/a...nId=46&id=33601
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
Community Leader
5,520
401
83
Doesn't that scare anyone?

Volunteers are the fabric of emergency services for many communities. I think in general volunteering seems to be a thing of the past, a sad reality.

Several high schools in the state, especially in more rural communities, offer the EMT-Basic program. I'm all for having teenagers learn about EMS, and even act as EMTs under the right conditions.

That's just my 2 cents.
 

ma2va92

Forum Lieutenant
186
1
0
I think the almighty dollar .. has to be taken into account here... those that had volly'ed in the past may have found a place that a check would be given for the same work.. and would rather a check.

is there a report that shows anything like this ..

we are 100% vol. .. and when the pager goes off most of the time the LT. or the Capt. will have to ask the a few members stay back.. because we need room for the pt. .. very nice feeling know ing we have so many that wish to help.. not looking for the check... just going from the heart
 
OP
OP
rescuecpt

rescuecpt

Community Leader Emeritus
2,088
1
0
There are signs in my county that say "Volunteers Needed for Fire and EMS. Work for pride, not a paycheck" with a toll free number to call.

Speaking from experience (with two different squads at the same time) volunteering is tough. Not everyone has the stomach for it, is in good enough shape, or really has the time. I know I dont have the time, but I do it anyway, because i've gotten so used to not sleeping all night and seeing people at the worst moment in their lives. I know a couple people who want to do it but are scared, but it's a big jump to take, and I dont blame people for being scared - it's hard, dirty, thankless work most of the time. But I always encourage them to help in some way - be it auxiliary, fundraising, or riding on a rig. I also try to help get people applications, give tours of the ambulance and fire trucks, set up ride-a-longs, etc, so they can see what we do first hand - which often times inspires them to act.
 

medicfire909

Forum Ride Along
8
0
0
Hello Everyone,

We had a simular issue here in Upstate NY and some agencies were hit by this trend and some agencies weren't affected or not to the same extent as others. What we've done more and more over the last almost 20yrs I've been in this service was to really get out in the community more than the typical coin drops, parades. We visit group within our community and present a " Introduction to Lives of your community volunteers". We completely offer a non-threating look at the EMS/Firs Services, we volunteer to run EMS stations at ever home sporting event at the local HS (rural NY so thats not as many of it might seem). We supply EMTs to local Pop Warner Football games.

In doing so we've also expanded the range of volunteers we need to not only include providers in the EMS/Fire Service. We have volunteers from a local lumber yard who help maintain and build new structures at our Park and Pavillion, we have volunteers who help write grants for our community to receive the equipment we need to maintain the health of our community. We have many many more services and areas for volunteers we could almost be considered a FD with a PTA of devoted professionals who do so much more than just provide EMS services.

I know the names of almost every individual who lives in my community through the different tasks we do. We had the Red Cross here a few years back pull out of the Meals on Wheels program in the county we've taken it over and we disucssed resticting it to the residents of our town but we could bring our selves to tell people our neighboors in other communities NO. As a result we have volunteers for this program from the hole county.

PA is a very different area for EMS and the Fire Service because of how it is setup, their biggest method of increasing recruits would be to consider accepting more states certifications for reciprocity and National Registry acceptance. I lived in PA for a couple of years and my NY cert wasn't acceptable but because I also had MD certifications the accepted that. Drawing from around their boarder may lead to having indiviudals who live NY, DE, OH, MD, and KY joing their ranks but not if they have take significant extra training. As for HS kids in the Fire Service solely it definiately depends on their ages because PA law doesn't supperceed OSHA ruling about the age of interior firefighters.

Julie
 
Top